I have some Buckeyes coming in in a few weeks, and my intent is to keep them segregated from the rest of the flock - RIRs, NHRs, BRs, Ameracaunas - and try raising some chicks. The current flock is simply for fresh eggs - at least for now. The incoming chicks are 8 hens and 1 roo - OK on roo to hen ratio, right? In anticipation of this new venture on my chicken journey - relatively new at this, although I was fairly successful with eggs a few years ago (not hatching them) - I've started reading on egg care, incubation, hatching, etc. Now I'm starting off more confused than I was when I started! So, if'n y'all don't mind, I'd like to ask a few questions to assist me in understanding what I'm reading: (1) Lots of referrals to "broodys" - I understand the term, I think, but does this mean not all hens sit their eggs? Out of 8 hens, will I have at least one who sit the eggs? I've been thinking I'd like for everything to be natural, but should I invest in an incubator and not leave this to chance? (2) 8 hens - go out one morning after they start laying and find 7 new eggs. Assume they're fertile and leave them there (assuming no incubator)? If I candle them - which is also slightly confusing - at day 7-10 and there are no veins, can they still be harvested to eat? (3) What the heck is "lockdown"? The hens I had before pretty much laid an egg a day each - don't think I want to be trying to hatch 4 dozen eggs each week, so (4) How do you decide when - and which eggs - to harvest eggs to eat and when to leave them in the nest? I have many more questions, but answers to these will help me better understand what I'm reading in these Raising Baby Chicks threads, and maybe cut back on some of the additional questions. One last question... Is there a "Hatching Eggs for Dummies" book?