Thanks, everyone! I got the Incuview, as it seemed to have excellent reviews, was a price I was willing to pay, and I just couldn't resist the full visibility. I wish the capacity was a little higher-capacity is only 27 in an incubator that could easily fit 42 at least, but that's okay. I've got three extra thermometers and two hygrometers, besides the built-in ones, but the incubator seems to be spot on for both readings and has been holding temp steadily for 24 hours now. I did go ahead and set eggs yesterday afternoon. I know I should have let it sit a bit longer, but I really wanted to have my eggs hatch over the weekend when I'll be home and I was comfortable that the bator was holding temp, so I chanced it. So far, so good.
I'm incubating Swedish Flower Hens, which are notoriously difficult to hatch artificially. Most breeders recommend using the dry hatch method, so I'm trying that out. I wrote the weight of each egg on the shell before putting in into the bator, so that I can track weight loss, and am running it around 35% humidity currently. I'll add a bit of water if it gets down to 20-25%, but not sure that the room humidity will let it drop that low. I'm planning to bump it up to 55-65% for lockdown. I did set my freshest eggs first-thank you for that info! They were stored at room temperature (65-70 degrees). I had planned to toss in a couple of mixed breed eggs to use as a control, but the incubator took a little longer than expected to arrive and my girls really picked up their laying, so I set all purebreds. Probably not ideal to choose such a difficult breed for my first hatch in an incubator, but at if I can manage to pull this off, I figure it can only get easier from there.
I've got six eggs set to hatch under a hen in a couple days. This hen is an excellent broody and all the eggs look good, so I'm hoping for a 100% hatch from her. Had a rough hatch under a first time broody about a month ago. She wasn't good about pushing the eggs back under her when she moved around, and they kept getting cold. Of ten eggs, 3 were clear, one was an early quitter, one hatched a day early, and then the hen abandoned the nest with the first chick. Popped the remaining 5 eggs under another hen and three more hatched healthy, one pipped and died, and another was assumed dead but began peeping during eggtopsy. He hatched without eyes but is getting along well and will be a pet. It'll be interesting to compare my hatch rates between the bator and the hens. The bad broody is fired from sitting on any more real eggs, but I may slip some chicks under her in the future, as she's a great mother once the chicks are born.