August 20, 2003 | By: Michael Siebold

Where can you find team logos emblazoned with bowling chickens, shirts tie-dyed like egg yolks, and little chicken angels perched on 4-Hers shoulders? You can find all these and more at the 2003 Kentucky State Fair 4-H Avian Bowl. 

"Avian" is defined as "of or having to do with birds", but when it comes to this 4-H event it is narrowed to those birds common to the dinner table. 

In the avian bowl, student teams of three to four contestants in junior and senior divisions are asked a variety of questions about poultry and wild game birds. Each year the quiz sections differ, but the rotating subject areas include breed types, cooking instructions, spelling, bird anatomy, poultry diseases, and diseases humans can contract by undercooking or improperly storing poultry products. 

In the quiz show style format, after a moderator asks a question, contestants must “buzz in” within ten seconds. If a question is answered correctly the team earns five points. An incorrect answer means five points are deducted and the question can then be attempted by the opposing team. Individual scores also are tallied and the top four senior 4-Hers proceed to the national event. 

According to Tony Pescatore, Extension poultry specialist at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, the benefits of Avian Bowl preparation run much deeper than the chance to go to another competition.

“A couple of things happen in this competition,” he said. “First, it helps students with learning skills. It also gives 4-Hers some information on poultry products and poultry egg products that they wouldn’t have had elsewhere. Plus, Avian Bowl is a way of practicing team building. You have to work as a team to win this competition.”

Tony Compton is a 4-Her and former Kentucky State Avian Bowl team member.

“I think the competitors are definitely becoming stronger,” he said after the Aug. 15 event.

The winning team in the junior division was Pike County, comprised of members Samantha Justice, Seth Osborne, Tyler Pigg and Kathy Ramey.

In a close competition, the senior event winners were Joshua Mullins, first place, Kenisha Webb, second place, Brian Barnett, third place and Monica Wooten, fourth place. 

This team soon will be hard at work preparing for the National Avian Bowl event which will be held in November. Even without future competition, the avian bowl is a success according to participant James Noble of Perry County. 

“I enjoy getting in front of people and answering questions,” he said. “I just enjoy the camaraderie of the whole group, and coming to the state fair."


Editor: Aimee D. Heald  859-257-4736, ext. 267