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The art of making roosters crow — it’s tougher than you’d think

AustKalvitis 10 Lowell uses hen try get his blue-breast red rooster crow during annual 4-H rooster crowing contest Lake County

Austin Kalvitis, 10, of Lowell uses a hen to try and get his blue-breast red rooster to crow during the annual 4-H rooster crowing contest at the Lake County Fair. | Carrie Napoleon/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 10, 2014 6:03AM



CROWN POINT — Andi Nichols, 16, of Lowell had her strategy for getting her silver lake duck wing rooster to crow — hiding his mate from view.

It proved to be the winning formula for her Friday during the annual 4-H rooster crowing contest at the Lake County Fair.

Andi, a former champion in the competition, reclaimed her title with 36 crows in 15 minutes.

“They get upset when they can’t see their mates,” she said.

While impressive, the number fell shy of the record 52 crows in 15 minutes set this year at the Porter County Fair in July.

Many people believe roosters crow to announce the rising sun, but they really crow to show their dominance and can be riled into crowing when they feel threatened or angry.

The 4-H participants get 15 minutes to make their roosters crow as many times as possible. The only technique off the table is touching the bird. Some contestants followed Andi’s lead, teasing their roosters with a hen, while others blew air at their roosters, and some tried tapping on the cages enough to make the rooster crow, but not enough to scare them into silence. There is no sure fire method of coaxing a rooster to crow.

Nolan Sepko, 8, of Lowell, entered the contest for the first time this year and came in second place with 30 crows. He used a combination of stimuli to encourage the rooster to make a lot of noise.

“I just kept talking to him,” Nolan said.

His brother, Brandon, 17, competed in the contest for the past six years and was on hand to offer his brother some tips. Brandon said a pencil was the trick in getting the creature to crow over and over.

“Showing him the shiny end of a pencil made him crow,” Brandon said.



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