Well, my broodies are due tomorrow and I *MAY* have saved a chick. Or maybe not. :) But the chick was a goner if I did nothing, so what the heck, right? :)
I opted to leave my broodies in place, as I did last year, although one thankfully went broody in a moveable box so I moved her out of the preferred nesting area. She still gets an extra egg in there now and then, but not 5 or 6 like before. Anyways, was in the coop today when my broody NN was out doing her 'constitutional' and another hen was sitting on the nest.. She runs in and starts up with the frantic broody cluck. I had headphones in so just figured she wanted her spot back until I heard cheeping. Peeked under the non broody on the nest and there's a half squashed egg in there with a chick in it. Argh! Momma was frantic and non broody just looked hungry (eep). Pulled squashed egg, put it in my sweatshirt, ran back to the house and stuck it in my incubator, which has just a few eggs in it as 'backup' in case my girls squash all their eggs. (grr).
Chick is weak but still peeping and moving. I left the shell on just in case the yolk was not absorbed but good news is almost no blood so I am hopeful that this very small egg was actually close to really hatching. I tried to move momma and eggs to a cat carrier but she wasn't having it so she's back on her regular nest. Wish my little squashy luck!