ESCANABA — No need for stuffed animals this year. Poultry are returning to the barn at the Upper Peninsula State Fair. They were banned last year due to the spread of the avian influenza or bird flu. Michigan banned poultry at fairs until the end of 2015.
However, as the chickens were checked in Sunday for the fair, they were tested. Not for bird flu but pullorum disease. Pullorum disease is an infectious poultry disease caused by the bacterium Salmonella pullorum.
“It used to be called white diarria disease in chickens. It’s real devastating so we are making sure it doesn’t come back,” said Douglas Quaak of Ingalls. He and his wife were testing the birds as they were checked in.
The test includes taking a blood sample for serologic tests of the immune system.
“It’s keeps the diseases at bay, makes it safe for all of the birds so they don’t spread,” Quaak said.
Quaak said they do expect researchers with Michigan State University to test for bird flu later this week at the fair. With the ban on poultry last year, some of the 4-H presenters used stuff animals to show fair-goers how a poultry show is conducted.
The Junior Poultry Showmanship show will be held Thursday at 9 a.m. followed by the Junior and Open Shows.