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Contest's silence? Nothing to crow about

Jennifer Wippler and her rooster, Fred, won the 4-H rooster-crowing contest today at the Grand Forks County Fair. Eventually. Wippler, Emerado, N.D., had to wait about 15 minutes before Fred made any noise. "I don't do anything to make him crow,"...

Jennifer Wippler and her rooster, Fred, won the 4-H rooster-crowing contest today at the Grand Forks County Fair.

Eventually.

Wippler, Emerado, N.D., had to wait about 15 minutes before Fred made any noise.

"I don't do anything to make him crow," she said. "I just wait and see."

Fortunately for Fred, the contest lasted 20 minutes.

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"We keep track of how many times each rooster crows during the time limit and give ribbons to the first- and second-place winners," said judge Carrie Schumacher of the Grand Forks Count Extension Office.

The five roosters that were entered in the contest weren't in any hurry to crow. The only other one to make any noise during the 20 minutes belonged to Emerado's Joseph Martin.

That made Martin, 11, the second-prize winner.

He didn't have much of a strategy for getting his rooster to crow, either.

"I'm just going to sit here and wait for it," he said. "I just try not to make it nervous or anything."

Martin's sister, Becky, 14, also had a rooster in the contest, but it remained silent during the competition.

Marilyn Woolsey, Grand Forks, usually keeps her rooster, Chester Fried, in a pen in the basement. "He usually crows several times during the day, so he gets in trouble with the neighbors," she said.

Chester didn't crow until time was up. "Usually I'm trying to keep him quiet," she said. "But he really only crows when he feels like it."

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