I am a stay at home mommy of 7 that decided to homeschool a couple of years ago. I didn't grow up with ANY animals! My hubby was raised with every kind you could think of. Because of his stories, the kids convinced me to try out chickens (we were buying 5 dozen eggs a week). Now we have 14, 13 hens and 1 roo. The girls want to hatch out some chicks this spring and have acquired a HovaBator (styrofoam kind) from a family friend. The instructions are very vague and I want to make sure I really know what I'm doing before we put all those little lives at risk if I don't do things right. I get the basics, its takes 21 day, sometimes a day more/less, you have to have water and keep it at a certain temp and turn the eggs 3 times a day. But what I don't know is how much water, what temp and if I really need to do the candling? I cant find any info on the Styrofoam incubator, just the newer plastic ones, are these basically the same? Do I need to get a different thermometer than the one it came with? And lastly, the girls would like to hatch out 12-18 chicks for their grandmother who recently lost her small flock to a fire, how many is a good amount to try to hatch out in this kind of incubator and for our first time?