You might be surprised that the 4-H Poultry Club in Elkhart County may have more going on at this year’s Elkhart County 4-H Fair than ever, despite Indiana’s ban on poultry transport which shut down all poultry shows to prevent the spread of bird flu.
The Elkhart Truth reported on the club’s plans:
The poultry barn may be a little quieter at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this year – but it won’t be empty.
Leaders with the 4-H Poultry Club met with members and their families Monday night, June 8, to go over plans to keep the club active although Indiana has banned poultry transport.
The ban was announced last month by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health because of concerns over the spread of bird flu and is expected to last through 2015. That means no live birds at this year’s fair, which will be from July 24 to Aug. 1.
“Obviously the fun part is to get to show” said Valerie Jacobs, organizational leader for the 4-H Poultry Club, “but that isn’t the only component of it.” While the crowing contest will be canceled, all other events for the poultry club will continue with some modifications.
In place of live chickens, stuffed toy chickens will be used in the showmanship contest.
“Showmanship is all about the knowledge of the kid and what we know about the animal,” said Robert Kelly, extension educator with the Elkhart County Purdue Extension office. The club will provide the toy birds unless the club member wants to bring his own, according to a list of requirements given out at the meeting.
The toy birds will also be used in a modified chicken flyoff. The event, akin to the popular smartphone app Angry Birds will feature a slingshot to see which birds fly the farthest. Club members will have the option to build their own chickens.
“We’ll still have fair queens and the fair president trying to catch the birds,” Jacobs said, “They aren’t getting off that easy.” Another new event will be the poultry costume contest in which members will get to dress up as their favorite bird.
The focus on education will continue with an exhibition of educational posters and DVDs created by members. The club is working on acquiring a TV to place in the barn during the week. The club will also feature community talks during the week. The subjects of those talks have yet to be decided, Kelly said. A seminar on backyard poultry production will also be presented “for someone who wants to learn how to raise urban chickens properly,” he said.
Other activities include an egg cook-off, carcass judging, skills-a-thon, imitation contest, a corn-hole competition featuring chicken bean bags and an egg judging. Members will be allowed to bring six clean eggs from home which will be placed in a club refrigerator until judging.
To read the entire story, click here.
Below is the full list of the club’s plans for this year’s fair:
With creative thinking and planning the Elkhart County 4-H Poultry Advisory Board, 4-H Leaders and Purdue-Elkhart County Extension Educators announced their plans for the 2015 Elkhart County 4-H Poultry Events at the fair. As a result of the statewide mandate no live birds can be exhibited, so events had to be created, modified or canceled so 4-Hers can showcase their projects at the fair.
This year there will be posters displaying a photo of the 4-H member’s poultry, with information on the breeds and what they have learned. Members are also being encouraged to make an educational display based upon animal health, parts of the animal, breeds of poultry, and industry facts these will be that displayed so 4-H Fair participants can also learn.
Friday, July 24, 2015
Showmanship 6 p.m.: Showmanship is a knowledge-based class where the members are evaluated by the judge on their knowledge of poultry parts, health, and animal husbandry. Members will be using chicken models that represent different breeds that would have been shown at the fair.
Saturday, 25, 2015
Chicken Barbeque contest at 9:30 a.m.
Egg Judging at 2 p.m.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Backyard Chicken Seminars will be at 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Members and leaders will present seminars to the public on raising of backyard poultry. Between the seminars the 4-H members’ posters will be presented.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Rooster imitation contest at 9 a.m.
Costume contest at 3 p.m. Members will be encouraged to dress up as their favorite poultry animal.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Egg cook off at 8 a.m.
During Kids day activities, we will have an interactive craft for the public to stop by and make.
Skill-A-Thon at 6 p.m.: The Skill-A-Thon event will be new this year and a way for members to test their poultry knowledge. Members will have a friendly competition to test their knowledge on: Parts of the animals, comb types, breed types, quality assurance, how to read feed and medication labels and much more.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Chicken Corn Hole Tourney 10 a.m.
Poultry Fly off Event at 3 p.m. Members will make their own “bird” to fly off. The public is also invited to participate in this event and the “bird” will be provided for everyone to participate.
The 4-H program is open to all youth in grades 3-12, and enrollment for 2016 will start on October 1, 2015 and run till January 15, 2016. To learn more about the Elkhart County 4-H program please visit us at https://extension.purdue.edu/Elkhart or by calling the Purdue-Elkhart County Extension office at 574-533-0554.