Tour the Fair
The poultry department has one of the largest poultry shows in the northeast. Our show consists of many species of waterfowl, fancy show birds and a large assortment of bantams. Competitions in turkeys, ornamental and racing pigeons, laying birds and eggs are very popular, with everyone thinking that theirs is the best. All competitors hope that their bird will make the "Court of Honor" where we display the "best of the best."
The part of the poultry building that is the most sought after is the chick hatchery. All during the fair we have eggs hatching and baby chicks on display. This is our busiest area and people spend hours waiting for their special egg to hatch. Natures miracle of life is on display for all to see. Another popular activity that our young fair visitors really enjoy is feeding the birds. Last but not least is the hen flying and cock crowing contests that take place on the second Saturday of the fair, come and root home your favorites.
So, stop by the Poultry Building and see the show.
MDAR Continues to Monitor the Spread of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza
Since December of 2014, state and federal regulatory officials have been dealing with the incursion of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus (HPAI) in both wild and domestic birds in the US. The earliest reports concerned a small number of ill captive falcons in Washington State and appeared to be limited to the Pacific Flyway. A short time later disease appeared in both the Mississippi and Central Flyways. We are currently dealing with a catastrophic outbreak affecting millions of birds and the US economy as well. Fortunately, the current risk of spread of Avian Influenza to people is considered to be low and no people have become ill at this time.
There are currently no isolations of the virus in the Atlantic Flyway. However, given the movement patterns of migratory birds, it is not a matter of "if" but "when". Pennsylvania and New York have already cancelled poultry exhibitions and swap meets to mitigate risk. Any isolation of HPAI virus in the Atlantic Flyway will likely result in further cancellations of poultry events along the entire East Coast. Predictions are that HPAI will arrive on the East Coast potentially as early as fall 2015 and no later than the fall of 2016.
At this time, all fairs in the Northeast, including the Topsfield Fair, are proceeding forward with their poultry exhibits. This is subject to change at any time.
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) is currently working with commercial producers, backyard hobbyists and others to advise them of the disease risk and to encourage preventive measures. Multiple state and federal agencies are reviewing and updating emergency plans to maximize the ability to contain the disease. The agencies are also responding to reports of potential disease such as increased mortality or decreased production.
The only difference between brown and white eggs is the color of the shell.
It takes 21 days to hatch a chicken egg and 28 days to hatch a duck egg.
It takes approximately 22 weeks for a chicken to start laying eggs.
A chicken lays approximately 260 eggs a year.
It takes 8 weeks to produce a broiler.
It takes 7 weeks to produce a fryer.
The main part of a chicken's feed is corn.
A young female chicken is called a pullet.
A young male is called a cockerel.
The best place to keep eggs is in their carton on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Wash Your Hands
Please remember to wash your hands after leaving any area with animals.