We moved last year to a new home in the Eastern Sierra mountains of Nevada, our elevation is around 5000 feet. It also can be VERY dry here year round, and cold in the early Spring. Last year we had some issues with using our good ol' Little Giant 9200 incubators--we have one still-air and one forced air. Namely lots of early (at 7-15 days) and full-term quitters. Out of 20-22 eggs in each 'bator, we got about 6 chicks per unit to hatch. The early ones didn't bother me so much, but the number of chicks that quit at day 18-20 really bothered me. I did a breakout and found very little obviously wrong--some had turned into hatching position, some hadn't, none had pierced the air sac and all looked perfectly healthy. Why so many full term chicks had quit was a mystery. Very few chicks hatched (but were overall very healthy), and a few had to be assisted due to a thicker membrane. Most of the eggs were shipped eggs, but some were our own from our hens (admittedly they were stressed from moving from southern California, only about 200 feet above sea level, just 3 weeks before)--no difference in hatch rate success between shipped/our eggs OR between the still/forced air 'bators. Chicks hatching early at day 19-20 and looking a wee bit 'undercooked' happened last year, but they were Belgian d'Uccles which are rumored to be early birds generally. We have loads of experience at incubating & hatching chicks in the past, but since we moved here the issues have been: temperature fluctuation, difficulty keeping the humidity high enough and ventilation. I've experimented with every aspect I can think of--adding sponges for more humidity, trying a bit lower temp, changing ventilation both ways, using a water weasel/temp probe to replicate as closely as possible temps inside the egg, fewer eggs, digital humidity gauge, hand/auto turn, etc. Nothing made a drastic difference. I've done research that suggests that hatching at high altitude using sea level eggs can result in a low hatch rate, this year we plan to use only local eggs, no shipped eggs. My husband is fed up with last year's dismal hatch and wants to build a no-kidding wooden incubator that will hopefully eliminate temperature changes, hold humidity better and give proper ventilation. We have an automatic egg turner but in the past I've turned eggs 3x daily--no change in hatch rates between auto/hand turning for us. We can cannibalize our old styrofoam 'bators for parts as needed. We web-broadcast the hatch every year, so a large viewing pane on top is a must for the webcam. We plan on doing our hatch April 20th and hopefully avoid some of the colder weather spells. Anyone have experience with building a frankenbator and/or high altitude hatches? Any help or thoughts would be much appreciated.