50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Life with Chickens

Enveloped, that’s just a polite way to say my life has been taken over by chickens right? In my case, this chicken in particular:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/40

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/40

This little chicken, while cute, is not particularly healthy.  It was born in an incubator a few days before this photo was taken, but has a few problems that require fixing if it is going to go on an live a life with other chickens. It is part of a life cycles unit that a friend of mine teaches to second graders.  It’s a great unit in my opinion in part because it includes perfectly healthy chickens and those that aren’t.

In this case, you can see two problems from this photo:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/40

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/40

The first is that wet bottom.  Chickens who are born with this problem die unless you clean them up.  This chicken was cleaned up fairly easily, it just required a few sessions with a sponge and mild soap.  The photo above was taken post bath, looking much cleaner.  With that taken care of, it will then eliminate waste normally and grow some more feathers back there.  The second problem is its legs, can you see how they are splayed?  It is visible in this photo as well:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

Seconds later the chick flips over to its back where it is stuck, in part because its legs are spread wrong.  The problem for a chicken that gets stuck on its back is that its lungs are on its back and it will die if left like that for too long.  Also, we conduct this test on the chick:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50

We would like this chick to write an essay and he clearly wants no part of it.

Actually, what we are looking to see is if the chicken will grasp the pencil.  You can see that he does not.  So at this point we bind the legs:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/125

That’s a band-aid holding his legs in a proper position.  At this point in life, the chicken’s legs are malleable, so setting them like this will hopefully get them into the proper position so that this chicken will walk properly.

So what’s next?  Hopefully the band-aid will be removed after about a day and this chicken will walk properly.  The next step will be to wait to see if it will grow properly.  This is a very small chicken, much smaller than its hatch mates. Once it grows a bit it will head on to the farm and hopefully have a nice chicken life.

It is my hope that this chicken will stay with us for a few more days and then be healthy enough to move on.  I am hoping to take more photos to document its stay with us, look to my Flickr and Twitter accounts for photos.  I will write a follow up blog in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.  Have any questions or comments? feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

Travel Theme: Close Up: It’s Time for Chickens

It’s a great time of year.  It’s chicken time:

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/30

ISO 200 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/30

These eggs are part of a life cycle unit that a friend of mine who is second grade teacher teaches this time of year.  It is getting close to the end of the year, so it is harder to keep the kid’s attention as the weather get nicer.  This unit however, is fascinating, and a highlight of the second grade school year.

So, this is one of my first photos of this year.  The next step will be for these eggs to go into incubators.  As you can tell, there will be a variety of chickens hatching this year.  This is, in part, to show the kids the diversity that can exist among a species.  The chickens that hatch will eventually go to local farms.

You may wonder why I chose this for this week’s travel theme, close up. It’s my opinion that education should make you wonder about the world around you when you are young so that when you are old enough you can go out exploring on your own.  Projects like this one help bring that larger world close-up in a tangible way.  In a less direct connection to the travel theme perhaps,  I think it is good for the kids to see a part of how their food chain works close up. Often, I think, food just appears in front of them without any real discussion of how it got there. If there is to be a lovely natural world for them to explore as adults, I think it is important for them to be informed of where their food is coming from.

I’m pretty “egg”cited about this project, so there will be more posts as the unit progresses.  Feel free to drop by again to check for updates, your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh New Day

This rooster was very busy letting everyone within earshot know that it was a new day:

ISO 640 50mm f/5.6 1/100

ISO 640 50mm f/5.6 1/100

I took this photo this morning with the thought of using it for this week’s photo challenge which has the theme of fresh.  Nothing like a rooster to remind you that a fresh new day has started.  He doesn’t mind repeating himself if you didn’t hear him the first time.

I took this photo when it was overcast, so I increased the ISO to 640.  I used a fast shutter speed in order to catch the rooster crowing.  I edited it in Photoshop.  It has been cropped.  I also used the healing patch tool in the top right corner to get rid of some animal droppings.  I also used curves to lighten some of the rooster feathers.  Then I sharpened the image.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photography

Some Very Small Chickens

The last time I posted about the chickens they were hatching and still in the incubator.  In these first two pictures it is two days later and they are out of the incubator but still spending most of their day under warming lamps.  This is what it looks like when the gang is all together:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/100

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/100

They also spend short amounts of time out of the cage:

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/20

ISO 1000 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/20

You can see that they are going to have to grow into their feet a bit.  They do grow fast.  Here are a few shots from the next day:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/640

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/640

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/40

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/40

And two more from the day after that:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/3.5 1/125

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/160

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/160

The chickens in this post are between 3 and 5 days old.  They are currently living in a second grade classroom where they are being observed as part of a life cycle unit.  If you would like to see what they looked like while they were developing, click here to see my post.  While they are is the classroom the children have been filling out chicken journals, keeping track of the chickens since they were eggs.  In a few days the chickens will be moving on to various local farms.  I will post again before they are moved just so you can see how fast they grow.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Travel Theme: Light

I didn’t travel too far this week’s theme, light, I just went to a local elementary school.  A friend of mine teaches there and they are doing a life cycles unit, which includes monitoring some chickens as they go from eggs to chicks.  At day seven I went in to take some pictures of candling.  Here is one of those from the series I took:

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/10

ISO 2500 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/10

If you look at the lightest part of the image, you can see the head of the developing chicken.  How cool is that?

The challenge to getting this image is, as you can see, that I was  shooting in the dark.  I used my tripod and asked my friend to stand very still.  You will notice that the ISO is really high here.  I could have tried a lower f-stop to let in more light, but I really did want to preserve a good amount of depth in the photo, so that is why it is set to f/6.3.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Flowers, iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

This is a gallery of some of my favorite pictures from my blog this year.  It is a response to this week’s photo challenge from WordPress.  A big thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog this year!

Cheers!

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Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal

Renewal is the theme for the weekly photo challenge at WordPress.  Here is what I came up with:

ISO 320 90mm -0.33ev f/14 1/125

I took this last spring when my youngest child was doing a life cycles unit that included raising some chickens.  This photo is one of the chickens surveying the school grounds.

Cheers!

 

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