Monte Bowen of Kansas is renowned for his hatching success. Not all eggs can ever be expected to hatch, but if it's possible, Monte will hatch it. Colleague Ed Hart in Illinois said Monte could probably get a perfect hatch from an EZ-Bake Oven with a defective lightbulb.
Monte updates his report on May 18:
The second and final BIG setting of eggs for the year is complete. The rest of the settings are small; no more than 50 eggs in the next one and even fewer in the last one. I have one more batch to set, and that will be the end of it for the year. Not hatching as many this year.
13 of 15 Dominickers
19 of 19 RC Nankins
25 of 28 Partridge Wyandottes
12 of 13 Partridge Rocks
29 of 40 Mottled Javas (probably most of the "Blacks" will turn Mottled, so don't need many of these!)
4 of 6 Black Dutch
17 of 19 SC Nankins
4 of 5 Delawares
12 of 12 of the Millinery Secret Project (the one I keep under my hat) [CH: I'm sure looking forward to finding out what that is!]
May have to tweak that incubator a tad to get some better hatches next year!
"It helps to run a bit high on the humidity. Ed was running his machine at manufacturer's suggested humid level and half the chicks died in the shell. They never pipped. I run mine about 60%, increasing it as it gets closer to hatch time. It is often at 70% so the last week and a half of the run. He tried more water and finds he gets much better hatches than with what the incubator manufacturer recommended.
"What they think looks good on paper ain't always the way the world turns. Sometimes we just gotta read to 'em from the book. If they be real dumb, we have to show 'em the pictures only and readin' to 'em from the book comes later."
Monte has a colorful way of expressing himself.