Hi all! I am very interested in hatching eggs. We lost a chicken recently so have room to add to our flock. However, I am relatively new to chickens and have never hatched eggs before. I have done some research but have A LOT of questions. 1. How many eggs should I get? I don't want to be overrun by chicks, but I also don't want to end up with none. I know it's always a gamble whether any eggs will hatch or not. My ideal would be to have 3-4 chicks hatch. I would be happy with just one hatching. Is 6 eggs too little to hatch? 2. Do I have to spend a lot of money on an incubator? I know there are a lot of gadgets associated with hatching eggs. I guess what I'm asking is what do I NEED to hatch eggs? Just at the very basic (and cheap). 3. When is a good time to set (?) the eggs? Is it ok to do it in the winter or is it too cold for chicks? My thought is to hatch chicks in December/January so they are laying in spring/early summer. 4. I know this is thinking far in advance, but this is the part that worries me the most. How and when do I introduce the chicks to my established flock (of 3). They already have a clear pecking order. We added a new hen to their pack when we lost one a while ago and she is still very clearly an outsider. Is it even worth it to hatch eggs if they won't be accepted by my other girls? I'm sure I'll have more questions soon. Thank you so much for your help!