To raise your own chickens, you don’t need anything more than fertilized eggs, a $65.00 incubator and 21 days. Of course, when an egg is laid, you cannot tell that it is fertilized or not..that takes a few days. As long as your roosters have access to your hens, you’ll probably have a large number of fertilized eggs. After 3-4 days, you can “candle” the eggs by holding them up in front of a bright light in a dark room. You can see through the shell and will either see an embryo developing or…nothing. In an incubator set at 100 degrees F, turning the eggs a few times each day, you’ll have chicks in 21 days. The cheap incubator I linked to above holds 50 eggs.
I happened to have my phone in hand as one of our eggs opened up–you can see the others starting to hatch. These are Plymouth Rock chicks: