MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There is a distinct sound echoing from the poultry barns at the Minnesota State Fair.

And this year, it’s never been so welcome.

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“It was a lot quieter last year. There was no crowing or honking or whatever,” said fairgoer Mark Peterson.

4-Hers once again have their feathered friends on display; a return to traditional competition after last year’s avian flu concerns.

Fifteen-year-old Isaiah Holm has waited two years for his first shot at the state’s biggest stage. He skipped the modified competition last summer, disappointed he couldn’t show off the hard work that goes into raising the real thing.

“It’s a good feeling to know that you’ve put so much work into animals and it matters to make the trip,” Holm said.

Yet live birds are not just for the 4-H and FFA competitions. For fairgoers like Klein Kravis, the poultry barns are part of a summer-time tradition

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“I just think they’re very pretty animals,” Kravis said.

Here, he can see a bird’s evolution from its first days to fully grown in feathers. This is where kids like Kravis learn about poultry of all shapes, sizes and varieties.

“I’m sure there’s lot of birds here that a lot of people haven’t seen,” Peterson said.

Birds who are making a welcome return to the Minnesota State Fair.

“It’s as it should be — back to normal. Come and see the chickens,” Peterson said.

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The educational displays are still part of the 4-H competition. It was so successful last year, in fact, that the contest is now available for every animal, not just poultry.