COMPETITION There's something about to crow! At least, rooster owners hope so

Wilbur Stauffer says one of his roosters crowed 98 times in 30 minutes during a contest in Indiana.
CANFIELD -- Wilbur Stauffer jumps back and forth, whistles, and waves a handkerchief in front of the cage. Sometimes his rooster crows; sometimes, it doesn't.
"They get crazy," said George Less, Canfield Fair Board member, of Stauffer and the other competitors in the fair rooster-crowing contest. Less helps organize the contest.
"It's a lot of fun," he said.
About 100 roosters and their owners were set to compete in the contest, which was to be this morning in the fair's poultry and rabbits building.
"We have it in the morning because you always hear about a rooster waking everybody up," Less said. The rooster owners compete in either the junior division, for owners 15 years old or younger, or the senior division, for all other owners.
A little encouragement: Stauffer, of Apple Creek, near Wooster, said he has tried several tactics to encourage his roosters to crow, including placing a female chicken near their cage. He's also used a sheet to cover his roosters' cage before the contest.
When the sheet is removed, the roosters think it's morning and begin crowing, Stauffer said. He said that roosters crow more in the morning.
"Five o'clock in the morning, one will crow," Stauffer said. "Two minutes later, they're all crowing."
The owners competing in the contest are not allowed to touch their roosters, but they can do nearly anything else to encourage them to crow. The contest winner is the owner of the rooster that crows the most in 30 minutes. Local Boy Scouts and teens count the number of crows.
Both Stauffer and Less said they weren't sure why a rooster crows. Less said he thinks it's a declaration of manhood, while Stauffer added that it could serve to attract female chickens.
Winners: Stauffer said a rooster he entered in the Indiana State Fair crowed 98 times in 30 minutes. He said his roosters have won contests at state fairs in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, New York and Ohio.
Two of Stauffer's roosters were entered in this morning's contest at the Canfield Fair. He said he raises about 600 chickens on his farm in Apple Creek.
The winner of this morning's competition was set to receive $25.

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