I'm still here! And doing okay now. Quick update: about 6 weeks of near crippling night time back pain - much better now; I just have to be careful not to overdo and I'm feeling fine.
Thursday, April 9, at noon the eggs in the incubator began hatching. 24 hours later and we have 16 beautiful healthy chicks. This was only about 50% hatch rate but I'm not sure why, maybe the rooster was overwhelmed with keeping up with 28 hens? Anyway, I'm happy with 16.
So cute! I had 5 broody hens but all were determined to set in the wall-mounted nesting boxes so I took the extreme measure of removing all the boxes. Only two hens stayed broody on floor level, the other three gave up and rejoined the flock. Last night I took two chicks out and put one under each broody to see if they would adopt. Cloudy did fine, but I couldn't find Twinkie's chick today and was afraid something had got it. Then, on my latest egg gathering I saw the missing chick...with Cloudy! Cunning hen had stolen it away and was contentedly purring. We will have to see if she is so greedy with 14 more.
Spring is fully here and it's looking to be wonderful.