Chickens (4 of 52)

Valentina might actually be Valentino!

This week was a sad week for me in relation to the chicks. I love them so much, but we cannot have any roosters around. We had Albert for a brief period when we lived in Hobson’s Bay, and that turned out to be a nightmare (even though Hobson’s Bay allow roosters).

For a while I have been questioning why is that Consuelo is so different from Valentina and Dolores. Her wings are so much longer than the others, she has tail feathers and a much calmer nature.

Because of the tail growth, I suspected that she could actually be a cockerel instead of a pullet. So I took upon myself to google how to sex young chicks.

Side note: to sex a chick is to be able to identify the sex of a chick. This is apparently a very difficult task that even professionals sometimes miss.

A lot of the sexing chicks steps need to usually be done while they are a day or two old. So any of those techniques would not work on Consuelo, Valentina and Dolores.

But I did find a reference (with illustrations) and some other pages that suggested that some breeds of chickens, the pullets will develop the wings and tail feathers quicker than the cockerels. And this is exactly the physical difference I see between Consuelo and the other two.

Some sites also suggest that posture is another tell. Future roosters will be more upright more often than not (see photo below). Again, this is another items I see quite often in Valentina and Dolores.

Curious Valentina

Even though the image above seems to show she is looking at something, when she is face-to-face with Dolores, they are both standing as tall as they can. Probably trying to work out who is the alfa.

We are not sure, all we can do is wait until they reach 6 weeks of age (where theoretically, the major differences should start to show).

Challenges

I have a light brown hardwood floor, as can be seen in the photos. Dolores is incredibly similar in color to the floor. Creating the adequate contrast between the floor and Dolores was a challenge. I hope I rose up to the challenge.

Conversion

Converting colored images to black and white can happen in a number of different ways in the digital world. As part of this exercise, each of the chosen photos, I will have two black and white versions of the photos: one converted/edited in lightroom, the other converted/edited in Silver Efex Pro (part of the Nik Collection from DxO). Prior to converting the photo to B&W, I will do all color/contrast/exposure changes in Lightroom.

Photos

The “Image before” represents the photo made BW in Lightroom, while the “Image after” represents Silver Efex Pro.

Valentina, Consuelo and Dolores
Dolores
Dolores
Valentina (front), Dolores (back), Consuelo (right)

The next week will be Details. That means that I will focus on taking photos of their wing feather, feet, beaks and that sort of thing. The implication of taking photos of details if that I will need Dean to hold them still while I try to take the pictures. They won’t let me get anywhere near enough of them and stay still enough for me to focus and take the photos (and take into account the shutter speed that I will have). Let’s hope for the best.

To see the 52 Weeks of Chickens – 2nd Generation project, click here.

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