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?