Great helpful thread!
I've been incubating for about 6 years now. Last year was such a bust. I only hatched 8 chicks, and then I put them in an enclosure without enough protection, and we had a massacre. Only one chick survived.
Nobody tells you when get into birds that buying the birds is the cheapest part of it!! I finally have the right setup. I have a commercial coop, supposedly for 15 birds. I have my seven layers there, and I just butchered down my 14 Dark Cornish roosters (4 1/2 month's old) to 5, so I have 11 birds. There is enough room in the coop and enough birds to help survive winter temperatures. After lots of buying and grabbing freebies these birds have a 12 x 30 ft enclosure (dog fencing) with a poultry netting roof. The other "coop" is a makeshift building that DH built on top of a pallet, 4 x 5 x 5 high, with a rubber mat for the floor, and a makeshift roost from the handles of an old wheelbarrow. 12 x 12 dog fencing, wooden frame chicken wire roof, and outside is lined with chicken wire. (Amazing how they can escape!) This is where I want to move the baby chicks out of the brooder, so, understandably, I won't be incubating until May.
My layers are 5 EE's and 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes. The roosters are Dark Cornish. Any guesses as to what the chicks this year will look like?