Since "the babies" (nine of them) hatched this past May and joined our "big girls", our flock has numbered lucky number 13 near constantly. We were up to fourteen for about a week when Grammy J gave us Miss Cotton the white Cochin, but then our poor, ill-fated, Eglantine wandered into the road and brought us back down to thirteen.
Then the bad boys began their reign of terror and nearly killed a couple of the big girls with their aggressiveness and had to go bye-bye. The same day the Scout and Harold rode away in a box toward their new home in someones freezer, Grammy J came up for a visit and brought us two gorgeous golden-laced Polishes, a hen and a rooster, Gracie & King George, respectively, bringing us right back up to thirteen again.
The Polish pair are quite a site. George looks like he's suffered an electrical shock with his bolt-upright crest and spazzy-flighty manner, while sweet Miss Gracie appears to be nearly blinded by her foofy crest, venturing out only sheepishly, and never far from George. We haven't had any eggs from Grace yet, but when she does lay, they are supposed to be white, which will thankfully differentiate them from our other big girls' eggs.
We are looking forward to building our new big coop shortly, featuring a few honeymoon suites for our "fancy" breeds. Georgie & Gracie will get the first spin in the love nest to hopefully give us some fertile eggs for incubating. I'd just as soon let Gracie do things the old fashioned way, but it is an unfortunate fact that Polish hens are not good sitters (they seem to have a very high-strung temperament), and so, after a week or so of alone time, I will start squirrelling away Gracie's eggs until I have half a dozen or so to incubate. I can't wait - baby Polishes are CRAZY cute!
In addition to breeding a few (or God willing, MANY) of our own, we're going to order a few more chickies from the hatchery this spring also. Let us hope that somewhere along the line that the curse of 13 is lifted and that I can eventually realize my destiny as the kind and benevolent Chicken Baroness of the Pacific Northwest.