My Hen left her nest with 1-2 days to go. What to do ??


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 1, 2013
My hen left her eggs this morning on day 19. Her 'friend' hatched 3 chicks and one of them chose to go under her so I think she thinks her job is done. The 4 eggs were left for about 6 hours and were cold. I have wrapped them in a thermal jumper and am currently sat with them tied around my stomach to warm them up until I decide what to do. Just now at least one started to cheep !! I do not have an incubator or a heat lamp. Would a box with a high power torch be sufficient ? or an extremely low oven with the door open ? If they are cheeping does it mean they need to hatch soon ? Lots of questions but I am new to all this.
What they need now is to be kept at a temperature of around 99*F and humidity of at least 65%. Would it be possible for you to arrange that? If they are cheeping it means the chicks pipped internally (into the air cell inside the fat end of the egg) and they should progress from there within the next 24 hours. If you can set your oven (with the door open) at a low temperature with a bowl or 2 of water in there somewhere for humidity it may work.
Thank you. I have put them in the oven with water. Door open, on as low as I can get it. Two are chirping now and I can feel them moving about. I candled them and 3 are completely black and the 4th looks empty. I will use the 4th to keep feeling for temperature. It is very strange to hold a cheeping egg...I did not know they did that.
Have you got a thermometer you can use to monitor the temp in there? It's important that it stays around the 99-100*F mark, no higher than that, though you can get away with going a degree or two under.

When I check overdue eggs, or eggs that are taking to long to progress from internal to external pips, I hold them against my ear and tap them to make the chick chirp. When I hear the chick in there I know it's still o.k. and I can give it longer. Sometimes I also hear them chirping and chattering away in there hours before they hatch. It's something I'll never grow tired off.
I don't even have a thermometer....only the oven thermostat. I wasn't prepared because I had no intention of hatching them myself. Misses Chicken was supposed to do it. I can't just sit and do nothing though. One of my other chickens eggs started to hatch last Saturday. The first ones we have had since getting the chickens. She was sat on 22 eggs. Long story. Only 3 hatched alive and are doing well. 10 died straight after hatching and the rest did not hatch before she got fed up sitting there.
Fingers Crossed.
Two of the eggs have started to crack :0)

Fingers crossed!
Now you have to keep the humidity high in there so they don't dry out.
Two of the eggs have started to crack :0)

Have you prepared a brooder? You can use a box. You will also need starter feed, water, and a heat source. You can use a regular light bulb for heat. The temperature needs to be about 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) the first week. Each week you can lower the temperature. One way is to have a big enough box so that the chicks can move toward the heat when they are cold and away from the heat when they are hot.

Make sure the chicks can't fall face first into the water. One way to prevent this is to put rocks in a pan of water. This will prevent the chicks' heads from going in the water.
If they survive my plan was to put them under one of the mother hens during the night. Is that not a good idea ?

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