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Chickens banned from Pennsylvania fairs

It's fair season, and one of the main attractions is farm animals. This year, chickens are being left behind.

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — The signs are up at the Schuylkill County fairgrounds near Summit Station. The gates open in just a few days, but one of the most popular exhibits will be missing this year.

"We will not have any peep hatching or little chicks hatching out of here at the Schuylkill County Fair, which again, was another very popular and exciting experience, especially for young children to see the chicks hatch out of the eggs," said Kim Morgan, Schuylkill County Fair vice president.

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has banned poultry and eggs at fairs across the state due to an outbreak of bird flu back in the spring.

"They quarantined various farms, and they lost as many as 4.2 million birds that had to be destroyed this past year due to Avian influenza, and I think it impacted 17 farms," explained Morgan.

This isn't the first time an outbreak of Avian flu has put a pause on poultry at the Schuylkill County Fair.

"It seems like every time we try to initiate poultry on our facility, Avian influenza comes through, and I don't know whether it's just our bad luck here at Schuylkill County, but you would have to go back quite a number of years to when we actually did have poultry on the grounds like pigeons and turkeys and ducks," Morgan said.

Because bird flu does not get passed to other types of livestock, cows, pigs, and other animals will still be at the fair. The Schuylkill County Fair opens on August 1.

RELATED: Here's a list of fairs throughout northeastern and central Pa.

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