Hi - this is my first go at eggs and chicks - I currently have two broody hens setting about 8 eggs each and slightly more than a dozen eggs in a DIY incubator. All eggs were started in the incubator on 04/08 and I've been moving some out under the broodies after they settled into their new "broody coop". We keep our chickens primarily as pets and the eggs are a bonus. I had planned on hatching all eggs in the incubator and using a brooder for the chicks, because the two broody hens are not overly friendly (we got them as adult birds at the auction and I don't think they had been handled much). However despite their former skiddish ways, they both let me pet them now while they are setting without any pecking, only some feather ruffling. The gal who gave me the fertilized eggs recommended putting some under the broodies seeing as they will do a better job than the incubator, and then take the chicks at day-old. I appreciate your opinions as I'm trying to decide whether I should let the broody girls raise the chicks (in future years this is definitely the route I'll go as the mamas will hopefully be more friendly) or whether I should take the eggs at lockdown (or dayold? what do you think) and raise them in a brooder. It is VERY important these birds are friendly because my three young daughters and I just love our other tame birds (none of which are broody now of course). The eggs are a mix of standard cochins, bantam cochins, silkies and a couple of other barnyard mixes. I am worried that seeing as the mama hens are very skiddish of us that they also won't let us near the chicks, and we'll continue the cycle of scared chickens. Plus my girls are very excited about the chicks (and me too!) so we'll be sad if the mama's don't let us handle them. I've been writing about it over at my blog but appreciate your feedback both here and there. I'm so enjoying this whole adventure and appreciate this community.