I have been an avid chicken enthusiast since I was a kid, but aside from spending time on my grandparents farm with them, I wasn't able to have chickens of my own until now (early 30s)
My spouse and I are just getting started, though he's just more the hands on help me build stuff and eat the eggs guy. He doesn't seem too bothered about what breeds we keep so long as they lay something.
I am on day 18 of my first hatch, I have a Hovabator 1588 after reading lots of reviews and listening to a lot of anecdotal evidence, it seemed like the best choice for myself with my budget and needs.
I have found my hovabator is running hot, and have adjusted the thermostat before the hatch to get the three internal thermometers reading below 101 degrees.
My first hatch is a mixed bag of chickens from a local breeder, Araucana, Amerucana, Cream Leg Bars, Bresse, Chantecleurs, Orphingtons (Lavender, Buff and Cuckoo I think) there are some purebreds, some mixes. I am excited to see what hatches on Saturday.
I started with 42 eggs, and candled on day 10 per the breeders suggestion. I had one egg with a blood ring and some I couldn't see much in, but thought I'd leave them until the 18th when they went into lock down. I was VERY disappointed to see no development in 11 of the eggs on day 18 (I had a better flashlight today) and one dead egg. I have 29 left out of the original, and really hope the problem is down to bad eggs vs bad incubation. Everything I've read about them not doing anything suggest infertile or problem eggs. The two that quit don't seem all that abnormal to me.
I have eggs coming from two breeders next week, Silver Barnevelders, Black Copper Marans, and Icelandic. I really wanted some Wyandottes, but they seem impossible to find for some reason.
Thanks for reading. I hope my intro was okay, and not too far off topic!
(We're building our main coop in the next few weeks, so I may start a thread on that)