State fairs won’t press broiler industry’s bird flu luck

Keri Moore's flock of chickens are well protected from "yardbirds" or any stray poultry or fowl in her Meridian, Miss., pen, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. Moore had hoped to bring six of her chickens to compete in the state 4-H competition in Jackson, but the state fair officials, mindful of the deadly bird flu virus that devastated flocks in the Midwest, are limiting the contestants to a single bird for the showmanship and meat contests and are requiring the 200 expected exhibitors to use photo boards and record books to show off the flocks. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
Keri Moore's flock of chickens are well protected from "yardbirds" or any stray poultry or fowl in her Meridian, Miss., pen, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015. Moore had hoped to bring six of her chickens to compete in the state 4-H competition in Jackson, but the state fair officials, mindful of the deadly bird flu virus that devastated flocks in the Midwest, are limiting the contestants to a single bird for the showmanship and meat contests and are requiring the 200 expected exhibitors to use photo boards and record books to show off the flocks. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The South is the heart of U.S. broiler chicken production. It escaped the deadly bird flu virus that devastated flocks in the Midwest this spring.

Autumn brings the possibility that migrating wild birds will carry the virus to the lower half of the U.S.

To combat that, a number of states are barring or limiting poultry shows and public sales, including those at state fairs in September and October.

That’s forcing kids who’ve worked for months to raise and qualify poultry at fairs to get creative with their exhibits.

Fairs that don’t allow poultry shows often have students create displays about their flocks or some aspect of the poultry business.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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