Small animals sold at Washington County Fair

MARIETTA – Rabbits, goats, chickens and turkeys were the center of attraction during Monday’s small animal sale at the Washington County Fair.

“It’s my last year at the fair. I’ve been raising rabbits for about seven years now,” said Katelynne Anderson, 18, of Marietta, as she prepared her reserve champion New Zealand white rabbit for the sale Monday afternoon.

She said this was her third reserve champion rabbit.

“You have to work at it,” Anderson said. “Rabbits are a year-long project, and these are raised for their meat. You want them to have a nice, wide loin to get the best price.”

Anderson said she’s never actually eaten rabbit.

“I raise them, but after working with rabbits for a year, I’m not interested in eating one,” she said.

Fellow exhibitor Divinity Neihart, 13, of Marietta, had the champion rabbit in this year’s competition. She’s raised rabbits for five years now.

“But this is the first time I’ve had a champion,” she said. “It can be hard work, just keeping them clean and buying their food-rabbit food pellets are expensive.”

Neihart said some of the money she makes from selling her rabbit will be invested in upgraded housing for future animals she intends to raise.

Nine-year-old Keira Knox, of Newport, had a different plan for the money earned on her New Zealand rabbit Monday.

She said her little sister had inadvertently helped herself to some candy the family was planning to send to Children’s Hospital in Columbus where Keira had once spent six weeks after a bout of meningitis.

“I want to use some of the money to replace that candy for the kids at Children’s Hospital,” Knox said.

Asked about her experience raising rabbits, she said it’s not easy.

“I got a lot of scratches taking them out of their pen,” Knox said.

Twenty-seven pens of rabbits, 93 pens of chickens, 60 goats, and 22 turkeys were in this year’s small animal sale, said Tracy Waite, educator with the local Ohio State University Extension Service office.

“We had a great amount of interest and a lot of buyers for this year’s sale,” she said. “This is the first year we’ve had the sale in the large livestock pavilion, and everyone seemed to be more comfortable there. And the new rabbit and poultry building has worked out very nicely for the fair this year.”

The Washington County Fair concludes today at the fairgrounds in Marietta:

* 9 a.m.: Junior Fair Dairy Showmanship, Show Arena

* 10 a.m.: Junior Fair Horse Show, Horse Arena; Junior Fair Dairy Breeding Judging, Show Arena

* Noon: Harness Horse Racing (Pari-Mutual Wagering), Grandstand

* 4 p.m.: Midway opens

* 5 p.m.: Large Animal Buyers Reception, Show Arena

* 6 p.m.: Junior Fair Large Animal Sale, Show Arena; Fun Stage – Karaoke, Civitan Park

* 7 p.m.: Demolition Derby, Grandstand

* 11 p.m.: Midway closes

* * *

Champion and Reserve Champion winners in the small animal competition at the Washington County Fair included:

* Market Rabbits:?Champion, Divinity Neihart of Marietta. Reserve Champion, Katelynne Anderson of Marietta.

* Market Goats: Champion, Tyler Welch of Little Hocking. Reserve Champion, Jessica White of Lower Salem.

* Market Chickens: Champion, Megan Whalin of Stockport. Reserve Champion, Madalyn Treadway of Marietta.

* Market Turkeys: Champion, Emma Maddocks of Waterford. Reserve Champion, Holly Becker of Marietta.