Just introducing myself. I started my first ever chicken owning experience 3 days ago when I picked up some hatching eggs... 3 Silver Appleyard duck, 3 salmon faverolle, and 3 dark brahma. I have been a 'chicken-sitter' quite a few times but never had my own.
I put the eggs in the incubator 2 days ago. It's a 'rite-farm' 1200, and seems perhaps similar to the janoel or a magicfly I've seen for sale on amazon. I am keeping it inside the styro shell it came packed in to help hold heat. It's in the basement which is a bit on the chilly side (55-60ish) because that's where the temps are most stable & there isn't a mid-day heat spike from the sun. Auto turner. digital. I'm shifting the eggs over a row each day and turning 1/4 turn so they get a bit more than just the back & forth from the turner. It might be overkill!
Bator seems very reliable temp wise, but I already had an incident with a power outage, with a heat drop and then spike due to my alternate warming attempts. We shall see what happens. I was encouraged to see some posts here and people have had some hatches despite extreme heat spikes... My one complaint is how loud the fan is. I hope it doesn't crate some sort of poultry mental illness to develop listening to that incessant buzzzz! (kidding!)
My almost-7 nephew is excited about baby poultries and has requested that if any ducks hatch he can be the first one to snuggle one of them. :) he's here every day to be homeschooled, so I would imagine once they're old enough to be handled we can manage that. I specifically got breeds that are supposed to be more laid back/docile in hopes they will be more willing to be handled by kids. They're also a bit on the larger-bodied size both because if I get lots of roos/drakes I will have to probably eat them (or at least some of them), and because of the cold New England winters. We have only a tiny postage stamp here (1 acre) but there is a swamp in the backyard that has enough flow that part of it doesn't freeze in the winter, and lots of trees around to help discourage winged predators. Foxes & bears & coons & probably fishercats are another matter. I am hoping that if any of these birds hatch they will eat bugs (Japanese beetles, ticks, flies, and mosquitoes - both larvae and flying maybe?) and slugs & snails.
I'm looking at information about moving them around and housing them with deep litter and other methods to keep the stink & scorched earth experience down. Where I chicken sit there is a very predator-proof yard for the chooks, but MAN is it nasty. They love it when they get out to free-range and can enjoy the grass and gardens, but the yard gets beat up quickly! hopefully with a max of 6 birds I'll be able to keep them from destroying any one part of the yard...while also keeping them safe from critters.
I think that's it in a nutshell. Far too long of an intro, i'm sure!