Bird flu leaves county fairs with creative solutions for showing - WNEM TV 5

Bird flu leaves county fairs with creative solutions for showing chickens

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ARENAC COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

“We have no chickens.”

The bird flu outbreak has made showing chickens a little different at that Arenac County Fair this year for Hunter Nelson.

"Instead of showing our real birds and stuff, we had to show stuffed animals," Nelson said.

Nelson has been showing his prize-winning chickens here for the last six years.

"It’s a little different because the stuffed animals don't move as good as the birds, trying to pose them," Nelson said.

These chickens are surprisingly life-like. There are real feathers and it is the closest anyone is going to get seeing to real chickens at a county fair this year.

Terry Guoan has ran the Arenac County poultry program for years. He said this year is unlike any other.

"[The] worst case scenario came and then we had to scramble to figure out what to do," Guoan said.

Because the chickens here did not get sick they're keeping them quarantined to make sure they stay healthy – which means no showings at the county fair.

"Everyone's been banned. It’s not only our fair but all the fairs," Guoan said.

Despite having no chickens to show, Guoan said buyers paid a premium since so many other farms have sick birds. But he says this situation is not ideal for future years.

"I'm really hoping that we can go back to the normal days and do this without having any problems," Guoan said.

Hunter Nelson said regardless of the flu outbreak, it's business as usual. He still took home first prize this year.

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