An emergency hatching without an incubator. Need some help!!!

Flying Feathers

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
Okay, one of my hens went broody but we weren't sure when since she's one of those hens who like sitting in the nest box. I knew it was getting close to hatching time, so we've keeping our eye on her. Today the hubby went down to the roost to gather eggs for me and found two still warm chicks dead and outside of the nest. I suspect either the mother or the evil rooster I have (who is going to be going on a long trip). Anyway, I raised her up to see if there were anymore chicks I could rescue before they too ended up dead and found six more eggs than there had been a one egg that was pipping. I made the decision to take it to the house and do what I could to hatch it. Right now I have it in a shallow bowl, laying on a towel. It's staying warm from the heat lamp I'm using for my bantie chicks. I've taken a damp paper towel and laid it over the entire bowl to keep some moisture around the egg.

Am I doing the right thing or do I need to do something else? I don't have an incubator or I would have been using it. I really want this chick to hatch - I hate the idea of more of them dying. Can anyone please give me some advise?


6 Years
Jun 9, 2013
Northern Virginia
can you find or borrow any incubator? We had the same thing and we borrowed an incubator. Sorry I don't much more than that. I know how you feel losing them.


5 Years
Mar 21, 2014
Jefferson, TX
I know it sounds crazy....I had similar situation. the 2 eggs were just starting to pip. I stuck them in my bra and went about my business. When they got close to hatching, I put them in Tupperware dish with lid covering almost entire lid ( leave enough space for circulation.) Placed dish on heat pad and BAM! I had 2 healthy chicks. Boobs aren't just for nursing babies. ;)

Mshell Chook

5 Years
Jun 2, 2014
I've created my own incubator for a little chick that pipped during the night but did not progress by late afternoon. To keep her (wishful thinking) at around 35 degrees I have wrapped a budgie cage without the top in towels and used one of my husband's work lights for the heat. I've also popped a tall glass of water in a corner for humidity. I monitored the temp myself (with a digital thermometer) whilst adjusting the height of the globe to create the right temp. When the chick is steady on its legs I will pop her under our broody hen where she came from. (FOR SAFETY REASONS I NEED TO POINT OUT THAT THE GLOBE DOES NOT EMIT ENOUGH HEAT TO CAUSE A FIRE, AND I ENSURED THAT THE TOWELS WERE SAFELY TUCKED ASIDE. I'VE BEEN MONITORING THE TEMP OF THE CHICK AND ALL AREAS WITHIN THE "INCUBATOR" FOR SIX HOURS ALREADY AND WILL WAIT A BIT LONGER BEFORE I HAVE A SLEEP TIL 3am when i hope she is on her feet so I can put her back in with her adoptive Mum! I hope i am doing the right thing. I am very much a newbie - my Blue Australorp (Princess) went broody at 9 months so I couldnt wait to put some fetilised eggs under her. Fingers crossed there is more pipping in the remaining 5 eggs in the morning.

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