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  • Fairbury News staff

Fair gives Weer something to crow about

Diane Weer of Lexington won the Fairbury Fair rooster crowing contest Wednesday.

The traditional rooster crowing contest at the Fairbury Fair Wednesday gave Diane Weer of Lexington bragging rights.

Weer’s black Orpington cock bird won the event after several birds went about 10 minutes without making a sound. Others were trying to make their birds crow but Weer looked relaxed the entire time, barely making a sound. It all comes down to luck in Weer’s opinion.

“They can be crowing in the barn then you put them in a different spot and they might not crow,” she said.

Some work with them at home by giving them corn every time they crow or by using another type of trick. It can be a totally different story when working at home.

“They crow before dawn,” Weer explained. “Mine start about 4 in the morning actually.”

Weer enjoys poultry and considers raising all of her chickens a great hobby, even though it takes a lot of work.

This is Devin Laible’s first year as Fairbury Fair poultry superintendent. His friends in the poultry world thought this would be a good opportunity for him as he is only 20 years old and has been raising chickens since the age of 16.

“I enjoy it and I’m excited to see how this year goes.”

Laible has been around the circuit to several shows and does quite well. He considers poultry a fun but expensive hobby. As poultry superintendent, Laible oversees general upkeep of the barn making sure all of the birds are healthy and that everyone has everything they need. He also sets up and takes down the entire barn.

The Lexington High School graduate just transferred to Illinois State University for a bachelor’s degree in animal science.

Benny Burkett of Sandwich returned to the Fairbury Fair to judge poultry Wednesday morning. The Livingston County native started coming to the fair in the 1960’s to show cattle and chickens here. Burkett began showing chickens in 1958 at the Odell Fair before his Fairbury days.

“When Herman Harms was the superintendent for many years, I used to judge every once in a while,” Burkett recalled.

The first thing Burkett looks for as a judge is the head of a chicken because if the head does not look good, he does not spend much time looking at the rest of it. Then he looks for the type of chicken on the outside. For instance, the bird needs yellow legs and five points on the comb to follow the curve of the head.

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