No fowl: Selfie backdrop, workshops replace birds at State Fair's poultry barn


One thing missing from the Minnesota State Fair this year are the winged animals inside the poultry barn.

Chickens and turkeys were banned from the fair following concerns over the spread of the avian flu, which affected millions of birds on more than 80 farms across the state.

This meant poultry farmers had to get creative to fill the barn, taking the opportunity to promote the poultry industry after a devastating spring.

So, instead of the gobbling and bawking of roughly 2,000 birds, the barn is filled with more than 150 interactive educational displays and posters about the poultry industry made by 4-H Club members from around the state, The Country Today reports, covering topics including biosecurity, animal health and poultry careers.

Industry leaders, including poultry producers, veterinarians and others in the industry, are also present, giving presentations and workshops, Minnesota Turkey says.

And because there are no birds to take selfies with, the poultry barn features a backdrop of turkeys as a replacement.

A row of empty poultry pens is also on display, The Country Today says, to represent the birds lost statewide this spring – the pens will be filled with informative cards and posters to educate people on the avian flu.

Fairgoers are also able to send a sympathy card to poultry farmers who are mourning the loss of their feathered friends.

The barn won't be completely void of animals, however. Rabbits and goats are still be on display, the Pioneer Press says, along with the stray bird that swoops down to nap a lost fry.

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