Elkhart County 4-H fair to use toy chickens amid bird show ban

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By: Jon Zimney

GOSHEN, Ind. (AP) — The Elkhart County 4-H Fair is turning to stuffed toy chickens as stand-ins for the real thing at its upcoming 4-H fair in response to a statewide bird show ban.

Valerie Jacobs of the Elkhart County 4-H Poultry Club says the toy chickens are an effort to make “lemon pies out of the lemons” delivered by the ban.

The State Board of Animal Health recently banned bird shows, likely for the rest of the year, in response to a bird flu that’s killed tens of million chickens, mostly in the Upper Midwest.

But 4-H Youth Development extension educator Robert Kelly tells The Goshen News that stuffed toy “Buffy the Hen” chickens available online for $20 will allow the poultry showmanship contest to continue at this summer’s Elkhart County 4-H Fair.