Thanks, everyone! I'm following Gail Damerow's excellent book on Hatching and Brooding Your Own Chicks, which indicates that it's not such a big deal unless you want to hold them longer than 6 days, after which you need to start turning them and wrapping in plastic, etc., or rates drop. It's just that she indicated that temp. range. Any other way to reach that temp for me would also include either temperature swings or condensation, so I may go with coldest part of the house and leave it at that.
I've been collecting three days (though I may not keep the first one from the first day), and will only collect through 6 days anyhow. I have them in a clean plastic egg carton (not sealed tight though - no condensation). Eggs are clean. I have them in an unused shower stall in the coldest part of the house (coldest in winter, which is why that shower stall is unused this time of year!) I think I'm just going to try with this approach and see how it goes. Since I'm simultaneously tending the rooster, simplicity is a plus.
It's all new to me - so much to learn! Getting my new incubator sanitized and up and running this weekend to check out its function (and make sure I understand it!). I find myself wondering if I can keep eggs from the three different girls separated somehow in this incubator (Brinsea Octagon 20) - some research and problem solving to do! I'm egg-cited!
(BTW, Dumbledore, who may get renamed Captain America, is doing very well, and crowed in the house this morning - how's that for an alarm clock?! But he has zero tail and backside, and will definitely have tail/backside scarring from dog bites though cloaca is ok/intact, so no idea what his future mating effectiveness will be. Definitely want to save his genes - Cream Legbar, only real defect is a slightly crooked comb, polite and solicitous to hens who adore him, amazing protector, and the vet said he was one of the best behaved roosters she'd ever treated (even when he was in pain). He earned his purple gizzard! I could get more from his line (known for these "good rooster" characteristics) from his breeder, but I want HIS babies!
- Ant Farm