Every day my broody gets kicked out of the next so my EE can lay in it. The EE sets for a bit while the broody goes for food and water. Then the broody comes back and the EE moves on. However, today (day 24 of 28, she is sitting on duck eggs), the broody got kicked out and moved to another nest with eggs and stayed there all day. So the eggs got cold, my guess is down to 65. I took them and moved them into the bator. I don't have much hope, but we'll ride it out.
**UPDATE: It's been 10 hours since I put the 8 eggs in the incubator and this morning I saw definite bill movement in 7 of 8 - which seems against all odds. I have to remind myself that though hens sit on eggs all day, they DO get up for food and water at least twice. So eggs naturally cool down twice a day and they are fine at hatch. Now, that is not to say that the amount of time they were unattended yesterday was good either, they were cool to the touch.
Also, it is quite possible that the hen was just getting tired of sitting on the eggs, since they are duck eggs and they take longer (but that is my human brain rationalizing why she got up. Who knows, maybe she just wanted to cross the road...)
The moral of the story is to give it a try in the bator, even if they have been abandoned - it could still work out.
Edited by KHoward - 4/26/16 at 4:28am