I've always wanted to hatch out my own eggs when I was younger; I've always wanted to have the experience of being a mother bird. In fact sometimes when I was like 5 years old I took an egg out of a wild bird's nest, wrapped it in a sock, and stuck it in a messy stick and moss "nest" of my own in a tree near my house. I really thought that it would hatch! When we got chickens, I tried putting an egg in a plant pot on our porch in the sun, thinking it would be warm enough. Of course, all these tries at hatching an egg failed. Then I got an idea. Why not use a lamp to make an incubator(didn't know that this is what they were called lol) to hatch my own chickens??? So, I took any old plastic box, wrapped it in tinfoil(thinking it would keep heat in or something), put a cloth in it, put a random lamp over the box, and placed a some of our own chicken eggs in it. I had NO idea about humidity, the temp. it should be at, etc. All I knew was that the egg had to be warm, in a safe place, and for some reason(probably because hens always make a nice, soft nest for eggs when they go broody) I also knew that it had to be in a soft place. So I put those eggs in that plastic box and left them there. I turned them(I knew this because in the wild mother birds, shift and turn their eggs. I had no idea why! lol). I didn't candle because I had no idea that I could do this or how to do it. Finally, half way through the period of the development(which I had no idea how long it took for them to hatch), I found backyardchickens.com. I dreadfully read through all the posts about how too high or too low temps. can be fatal to eggs. I read about how humidity is a big part of hatches and that it should be at a certain percent. I read about turning the eggs and candling. I immediately put soaked wet cloths in the "incubator", got a cheapy temp./hum. monitor, etc. Humidity was 80% so I freaked out and took out all the wet cloths. Temp. was surprisingly in a good range. When I candled, two eggs had nothing in them(they were storebought...just an experiment) and one of our own had a vein in it when I cracked it(an early quitter). The last one had a tiny embryo wiggling around and I was so excited. Anyway, I through out the dud eggs and the last egg developed even when I had been literally blindly incubating it. I kept trying to keep temp. and humidity in the right ranges, constantly opening and closing the cover to let our heat when it got too hot, etc. In the end, the egg didn't make it. My first hatching experience was going so well until I got all specific and scientific with it. I think the constant worrying over temp. and humidity caused the chick to quit a few days before hatching. So I have a question: why do so many people worry about temperature and humidity so much? In the end, when you worry about it and constantly change it, doesn't it affect your hatch rate more? Why doesn't anyone use the "old fashion" method, like a broody hen would? Why not just take any old box, put a few wet cloths in or however you add humidity, put a 40watt lamp over it, and incubate some eggs? I think I'm going to try this sometime again and compare my results to a group of the same eggs in a more precisely-controlled incubator. Any thoughts of this? (and sorry for such a long post! ) lol Please don't start any arguments! I just want to see what people think about this.