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Incubating rescued eggs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We had a buff go broody a few weeks ago, and not having the time or energy to try to break her, we gave her some eggs likely to be fertilized by our rooster. Of the five, we lost one very early to a crack in the shell. Two hatched three days ago and they are SO adorable. The day after hatch, mom left the nest for 6+ hours with the babies, leaving the eggs unattended in a 60ish degree environment. We never planned to hatch our own, and after seeing the chicks I'm emotionally invested. :)

 

When mom seemed to be in no hurry to get back to her eggs, I did some googling and made the executive decision to bring them inside and try to finish incubating under a heat lamp. Like I said - never intended to hatch our own eggs so we don't have an incubator of any sort. They've been under a heat lamp at 100-102 degrees for two days now. I'm doing my best to keep humidity high, but I don't have a hygrometer either.

 

One of the chicks has died I think, but the other one is cheeping when I rotate her egg. How do I proceed? I don't want to intervene, but don't want her to die either. Doesn't her cheeping mean she's internally pipped? We heard a cheep for the first time at least 24 hours ago - how long will her air last before she has to pip externally?

 

I don't know exactly how old these eggs are. I rotated eggs out from under mama for a few days before I got smart and numbered them. We're somewhere between 20 and 23 days at this point.

 

Any advice on keeping humidity up and when to give aid or give up?

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 5

Welcome to BYC :frow If you can hear the chick chirp in the shell it pipped internally and if it's been 24 hours already, I would intervene and see if it needs assisting. This article explains the process very well with some pics:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

 

Good luck and keep us posted!

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks Sumi!

 

I read that entire article and explained to my husband why I was concerned. He told me to just do it. I came up to candle the egg and mark the air sac and lo and behold we have an external pip!

 

I'm beyond excited to not have to make that call. :)

 

Our other two hatched were dominque roo and red sex-link hen eggs. One is yellow and one is black with light patches. The egg that just pipped is a dominique roo and a buff hen. I've seen some beautiful pictures of barred rock / buff crosses and I'm pretty stoked to see what this one will look like.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
My six year old woke me up this morning. We went from good sized pip to unzipped sometime between 6 and 9 this morning. Everything seems to be on the up and up. Should I try to tuck her under mom tonight or tomorrow night? I don't want her to be alone.
post #5 of 5

Wonderful! I'm so glad to hear it worked out so well for the chick.

 

I'd wait until evening, when mom goes to roost/bed with her clutch and then tuck the last one under her for the night. She will be non the wiser and instinct will take over with the chick. 

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

Reply
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