This thread is a follow-along for my children (and anyone else) who are joining me in an effort to have fun, raise chickens, and hopefully come up with a good egg layer that is also adapted to our nasty climate. I'm making this as educational as possible so that the kids can use it as a Science Lesson. [And, yes, I know I could just get a flock of White Leghorn and be done with it...but then what fun would I have in the breeding?! ] Today is "Day 1" of the 21 day process. Photos of the candling process, air spaces, embryo development, etc...will be posted periodically. We have 32 eggs, and all but 3 are mix breeds. GOAL: to hatch a flock of birds that meet 2 basic traits: 1) good egg layers 2) able to live in mosquito-infested swamp-humid Liberty County. METHOD: choosing Roosters that are more "wild-type" Mediterranean Breeds (for our climate) and crossing them with hens that are known to be excellent egg producers, or that are also wild-type birds who can benefit from being crossed with these Roosters (and a few just for fun). We will use a still-air Styrofoam incubator set at 99.5 F, and eggs will be turned at least 3 times per day (to prevent embryo from sticking to shell) and humidity will be monitored via air-space development. Fertility rate will be determined at Day 7 via candling and survivability will be expected to be normal (see below)*. Breeds include (numbers given where known): -White Leghorn (3) -White Leghorn Roo crossed with: x Old English Game Fowl (Bantam, 2)** x Brahma (Bantam, 1)** x Easter Egger (1) x Barred Rock (1+?) x Australorp x Production Hen** -Egyptian Fayoumis Roo crossed with: x Easter Egger (8) x Australorp x Barred Rock (3+?) For those keeping up with numbers, that means there are 13 that are not 100% ID'd as to the breed of the mother hen. That's because we didn't witness all the egg-laying, and all the brown eggs look REALLY similar. **For another curve to throw in, some of the "White Leghorn" crosses might actually have a Rhode Island Red "dad" instead of a Leghorn...but that's something that can be determined at hatch. Day 1 is October 8. Hatch Day will be Tuesday, Oct 29, give or take a day. *Anticipated hatch-rate is 70%, yielding in an expected 22 chicks. Of these, it is expected that half will be male, and half female.