Our county fair is this week, and this evening we were in the poultry barn checking our chickens, when I came across a distraught 10 year old girl and her mother. This is the girl's first year in 4H, and her only project was a pen of market broilers. It has been terribly hot this week, and the broiler show is in a couple days so the girl was giving the birds a bath when one started flapping and ended up breaking its wing. The bird had been put back in its pen by the time I saw it, and it caught my eye because the fracture was open and bleeding. I spoke with the mother for a moment and she told me what happened and that the bird was going to be removed. Now our county's rules are that the three birds that are weighed in at the beginning of the fair are the three birds that are shown and there are no substitutions allowed for any reason. So basically this young lady's fair is over as she doesn't have a project to show, and she is blaming herself for hurting the bird. I assured her that these things happen to even experienced people but she was DEVASTATED, crying inconsolably. Her poor mother was really doing a great job with the girl, but it was a miserable time for everyone. I don't want this to be the end of her experience at the fair, as I think it should be a little bit more fun for the kids, especially considering the amount of work she must have put in to the project. So how can I make this better for her? I feel like she should get some sort of award for caring so much about these birds, or maybe I should ask to purchase the pen of two from her as she won't be able to sell them at the auction. I am on the poultry committee for the fair but don't think this can be a committee thing, because there have been other kids in similar situations that have lost a bird from their pen this week due to the heat. I just didn't happen to see their reactions or talk to their mothers. I will check tomorrow, but I may have banded these birds on arrival and could tell her how nice they were and that she had done a great job with the project... I just don't want her first fair experience to end like this, walking away with nothing. So I am hoping someone can offer some advice, or maybe there is another 4Her that has been in this situation before and can help? Thanks!