It pays to get a good seat.

Many years ago, I watched an NBA game from five rows behind the Chicago Bulls bench; we’re talking Jordan, Pippin, Rodman…it was breathtaking. The seat made all the difference.

And you know the people on that plane in LOST know this. The seat to which you had been assigned made the difference between life and death.

It seems this is also true for my incubator and egg turner.

As I approach my second hatching, I’ve had time to ruminate over the first: what worked, what I would do differently, and contemplating patterns that reveal what thermometers and hygrometers cannot. Confused? Here’s an illustration of C3.0’s hatch in the egg turner:

C30 incubator

The egg turner seats 41 chicken eggs; the yellow square in the upper left is the motor for the turner. The blue and dark brown eggs were numbered and laid out as illustrated above, and that’s where they stayed, turning slowly, until I heard #37 peep from within his shell at the end of Day 19.

The first eggs to hatch, on Day 20, were #29, #36, #37,  and #15. #1 & #8 were the first of the Ameraucanas to hatch. See a pattern? The two LA preemies were #7 & #12. Hmmmm….

Now, this is a very fine incubator, and new, with a circulating fan. There shouldn’t be that much difference in temperature from one corner to the other. And, yet…

When I incubate C3.1, I will rotate the eggs each time I candle, and watch closely for the outcome…

I know nothing. Again.

I have ordered three dozen eggs for hatching, to be shipped this coming Monday: 24 for me, 12 for a friend. I did the research on the incubator, and have just been gifted a shiny, new Genesis 1588 with egg turner. So, I’m all ready to hatch me some chicks, right?

WRONG.

Great googly moogly! I had no idea how much there was to learn, and I now have precisely five days in which to learn it all. I started here, and there has several dozen links for more information. I don’t even have a candler, and most of my eggs are Marans!

I am freaking out, people!

Okay, chickeneers, I need your help. Those of you who have incubated eggs, particularly shipped eggs, please let me hear your best tips and most urgent cautions. Helpful links also gratefully accepted.

Help me make babies, y’all!