My oldest daughter, the Kinder Major, is in 4-H and wanted to show poultry as part of her project so last fall we began hunting up birds for her. By winter last year she had the start of a nice little flock of Silkies from Sunshine Silkies, Three Cedar Silkies, and Bobbi Porto. She bought chicks or young birds and patiently waited on them to grow while learning what she needed to know and training her birds. They all came along well so we decided she was ready to play and were waiting for the next local show. Then a coon figured out how to penetrate the tractor they were in and killed all of them in one night. Our first ever losses in one of our tractors in the four years we'd been using that design. She was devastated. We got the coon and made the necessary changes but the birds were gone and with family obligations over the summer there wasn't much we could do about replacing them. Until about a month ago when Judy at Three Cedars Silkies kindly agreed to sell her some eggs from her birds. She bought a dozen and a half and we fired up the incubator. Yes, there's an egg missing from the carton. One broke in the wash so we actually only set seventeen. She was very diligent about recording the humidity and temperature on the chart we kept on the refrigerator. (Sure wish she would be so attentive to her homework! ) She candled at seven days (she loves candling) and took two out that showed clear. Last Sunday night she candled again before moving them into the hatching trays and removed one that we were uncertain about earlier. Fourteen went into the hatcher. Last night she took out ten healthy looking chicks. We have one more that we're still debating whether to cull or not for leg problems. The remaining three looked good when she candled but never pipped. We've incubated a lot of large fowl and turkeys, but these are out first try at bantams so we're not unhappy with the total. Into the bowl they went for their trip to the workshop and their new home in the brooder box. She puts all of our chicks in the brooder now and won't let me do it at all anymore. She'll have to learn to share though when the Kinder Minor finally grows tall enough to reach over the top of the box. Our S.O.P. is to dip each one's beak into the water then set them down on top of the feed. They figure it all out pretty fast from there. An overhead view through the wire top. For the first couple of days I like to use the bottom of an egg carton so they can get into the feed, but can't easily scratch it out. After that I put a regular reel-top feeder in. I was a little concerned about the temperature last night as it's going into the forties in the early morning hours now and the brooder is in an open bay of the workshop, but with an ordinary 100wt bulb on one end and a 125w brooder bulb on the other they passed the night just fine. This morning they were running around like little speed demons. So we lost a year of showing but she's back in business now. We're hoping to pick up another dozen eggs this weekend to add to the flock. Along about next summer she'll pick her best birds to keep and take her place at the shows. The wiser for our experiences. Wish her luck?