I typed out the beginning of this long and drawn out story a couple days ago, posted, then deleted for fear of jinxing the outcome. Here is the long and the short of it. I bought 9 Buff Silkie eggs off BYC for my first hatch. I carefully researched, planned, studied and followed all the instructions with my incubator. I candled on the correct days, I talked to the chicks, I even played some Mozart for them (And George Strait, but to each her own!). Right off the bat I knew several of the eggs were scrambled during shipping, but I left them in to make sure. Approaching day 18, all but four were obviously dead. Day 18 I did a final candle, saw no movement in any egg, but locked the 'bator down anyway. Day.... 19. Nothing. 20. Nothing. 21. Nothing. No chirping, no pipping, no indication of life. 22. Nothing. 23.. I had to go out of town. With a broken heart I unplugged my 'bator while I packed. At the last minute, I decided to take the 'bator downstairs for my very uninterested family (Chickens are to be served with rice, not loved in this household!). I figured they could at least toss the eggs when they started to smell. My sister, mildly amused, plugged the 'bator back in. 24. No signs of life, I'm headed to Louisianna. My mother and sister, who have apparently taken vigil at my lifeless bator have started marking the eggs with strange symbols for identification, cart the eggs around outside the 'bator, candle them every 3 minutes "just in case" and have no idea that there should be water in the water wells (Subsequently, there wasn't any). My first hatch is clearly a failure despite having had no temperature spikes, no humidity problems, and a flawless text book incubation period. 25. My sister calls to inform me that there is peeping from one of the eggs. I politely tell her to close the window, because she must be hearing the birds outside. Unconvinced, she returns to her round the clock vigil. Night of Day 25. Two eggs pip. I call shenanigans, they email me pictures. Sure enough, a pip. It must be a fluke. Day 26, with a ferocity that impressed even my 6'7 Marine Brother in Law, two chicks literally destroy their eggs and bound into the world. I RUSHED home, all 7 hours, just to see it for myself. When I got home today, I found two beautiful babies asleep in the 'bator. My sister, the non-chicken enthusiast, came in and spoke and both babies bolted upright and ran to the 'bator window cheeping at her. Apparently, they think she is their mommy. We moved them to a brooder where they both ate and drank immediately. They now have a stuffed horse to cuddle up against, and get excited whenever they see us. I've ordered day old chicks before, and I've never seen the devotion or love these two little guys show. They genuinely have personalities, right out of the egg. My entire family is now converted, and even asked if I'd consider leaving my 'bator downstairs. Though I'm utterly amazed that I did everything by the book and failed to hatch on my first try, and my family who did EVERYTHING wrong managed to get two live peepers.. I couldn't be more thrilled. The one unfortunate note is that in my absence they took it upon themselves to name the two babies. To my dismay, I now have two chickens named "Esmerelda" and "Hank". My sister also presented me with a bill for "egg sitting" that appears to break down to approx. $30 per hour for 15 hours (Her round the clock presence was imperative apparently). We settled the bill with me ordering Chinese, and called it a day. I present.. Esmerelda and Hank. The only issue/concern I have at this point.. is that "Hank" has a knot on top of his head (You may be able to see it in some of the pictures?) where "Esmerelda" has a normal, rounded head. Both act the same, are eating and happy. Anyone ever seen this before? It's a pretty significant dome on top of his noggin'. I'd guess it were a tumor if he didn't just pop out of an egg. It doesn't appear to be affecting him though.