I've heard from a few disappointed moms who were sad that their kids couldn't handle the baby chicks at the N.C. State Fair this year.
The exhibit is sponsored by the Poultry Science Club at N.C. State and has been popular for many years. The change comes after 25 visitors to the 2011 fair were sickened by E. coli. The fair made several changes this year in response to the illnesses to separate people and animals.
Here's what Brian Long, agriculture department public affairs director tells me about the change in the baby chick exhibit:
"The changes the fair made to create more separation between fairgoers and animals in the competition livestock areas were not intended to apply to the poultry exhibit," he said. "My understanding is that the exhibit’s organizers felt it was better to eliminate touching this year."