This is our first year trying to hatch some eggs, and while we have had 3 hens go broody, we haven't had any luck getting them to sit or stay on the eggs we give them. We're not giving up on them, but in the meantime we've ordered an incubator. We're currently collecting enough eggs to fill it (holds 42 eggs), which should be by Friday. First eggs collected were Sunday. I'm reading Gail Damerow's "Raising Chickens" and came across the following passage: To optimize incubator space and improve your overall hatching rate, incubate a full setting for 15 hours, then candle and remove infertile eggs and those with germinal discs (the dark spots) that are smaller than the majority. Put the remaining eggs back into storage, where they will safely go dormant, and repeat the process with a second setting. Combine the best of both settings and incubate as usual. Seems like a great idea to maximize hatchings, especially since we only have the one incubator; it could ensure us more chicks without waiting until the first batch hatch to do a second batch. (My ultimate goal is to end up with 16 hens... I figured I may have to attempt to hatch 64 eggs to get that, with a 50% hatching rate and 50% male/female ratio.) So my questions are - what would I be looking for at 15 hours; and how long will the eggs stay dormant after incubating for 15 hours? We get anywhere from 6 to 10 eggs a day. I wouldn't want to wait until we get a second batch of 42 eggs, but could we store the first batch for 48 hours, incubate the second batch (12-20 eggs) for 15 hours, and then finally put all fertile eggs in the incubator together? Any other thoughts on this? Has anyone tried it?