Last week I found a wonderful family owned feed store/poultry paradise. I ended up, barely, coming home with just one chick (a Silkie) although I was tempted to just say 'I'll take the lot!' and be done with it. Since then, I've been kicking myself in the rear for not picking up one of the darling Polish chicks as well. They were, along with the Silkie, the same age as my chicks. So, I've decided to go tomorrow and pick one up even though I had originally talked myself out of it (I have no self control). But first I have a few questions, the most important being coop space. The coop is about 8x8. I know the 'standard' square footage per bird is like 4 sqft, BUT I also know that the birds will flourish if given more room. I had told myself that 8x8 would fit 9 very, VERY comfortably at 7 sqft per bird (plus, 9 is a nice number...I have to make a goal or else I'll be swarming in chicks. I know myself too well). At the moment I have 6 and was hoping to get 3 (or perhaps keep 3 from a hatch since I now am pretty sure I have a roo) next spring. Could that space house just one more, making it 10? I don't want to brood any less than 3 chicks next year. Right now it stands at 4 standard pullets, 1 standard roo, and a bantie. Can a standard Polish plus 3 next year work?! On to the second question: sexing. I have no knowledge of Polish at all. With most other chicks at 4 weeks, I think I could look at a group of the same breed for comparison and *more than likely* pick out the girl, but again, who knows. Any information on those tell-tale signs in this breed would be great. Roos with noticeably larger comb, variations in crest size, etc. Pics are also more than welcome! Lastly, I want to ask about introduction. The introduction of the Silkie went incredibly well, considering my inexperience. I knew I had to keep her seperate, for at least a week I had read, but that's not how it happened. I seperated her in the brooder with a divider with a window and my Lord did she cry. All the original chicks were huddled up against the screen as she wailed and tried to get to them. It was incredibly pitiful. I tried putting a friend in there with her, but then they both just started doing it. So, after a few hours I put them together in neutral territory (i.e.: the barracaded off, towel covered garage floor) to see how they would mingle and the rest is history. She has done amazingly well, only receiving normal peckage and giving as good as she gets! I felt much better having her in with them than on her own. They had seen me handle her and they all shared yogurt off of the same spoon prior to the mingling....perhaps that helped because they didn't see her as a threat. For chicks the same age and size, is this ok? I was thinking it might just be an individual experience each time. I just find it hard because I will only be getting one chick and I can't bear leaving them on their own. I can definitely seperate them, but seeing as how the Polish would be bigger than the Silkie was, I don't feel I can provide enough space for an extended period of time for my 6 chicks on one side as well as the Polish on the other. I don't want my original babies to loose space just because mom can't contain her chicken addiction. Any advice or information would be wonderful. Thanks!!