Davenport, Iowa (July 31, 2010) -- Many people will never have an opportunity to see a baby chick hatch from an egg. But Gary and Diane Kaasa, who live east of Eldridge, are trying to change that. Their chicken birthing exhibit returns to the Expo Building at the Mississippi Valley Fair for the second year in a row.

The fair runs Tuesday through Sunday, Aug. 3-8, at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds, 2815 W. Locust St., Davenport.

"Basically, it's the same as last year," Gary Kaasa says. "We're going to be hatching about three dozen chicks every day at the fair. We've done a similar project for years and years at a school."

Visitors to the Kaasa's booth can watch chicks hatching and can also view an educational DVD about the process. The Kaasas also will be on hand throughout the fair to answer any questions.

This year the couple also will have a mock farm setup on display.

"We have a small barn that will also act as a brooder for the chicks," says Kaasa. "It will have a little picket fence around it so we can leave all the chicks right there at the fairgrounds so people can kind of watch that, too."

A brooder is a heated container used to confine chicks with their feed and water until they are old enough to go outside.

"We had a lot of fun last year," Kaasa said. And the couple heard a lot of positive comments about their exhibit. "According to everybody we talked to last year, we were the most popular thing at the fair."

He said youngsters loved the chicken birthing exhibit because they'd never seen anything like that before.

"The older people loved it, too," Kaasa said. "We heard more stories about chicks being heated by potbelly stoves because it was cold outside and things like that. It was fun to hear all that."

Daily admission tickets to the Mississippi Valley Fair, good for viewing exhibits like the Kaasa's and grounds attractions, are $10 for adults and $3 for children 4-12. Children 3 and under are admitted free.

Fair Fun Cards, which cover daily admission to the grounds and each night's 8 p.m. grandstand show, are $40 each and are for sale at Hy-Vee stores, Taco Bells, the fair office and online at mvfair.com. Grandstand show admission is by Fun Card only.

For more information, click on www.mvfair.com or phone (563) 326-5338.


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