Pipped eggs abandoned by broody hen, how to finish incubating w/o incubator?


7 Years
Dec 23, 2012
I posted this over in the Emergencies subforum but no replies yet. So I'm cross posting here in hopes of saving the babies.

I have two babies that have pipped the shell and I need advice on caring for them so they can hatch. We don't have an incubator. These were under a broody hen but she abandoned them. They were chilled in the nest this morning but still alive and they became more active when I warmed them up. Right now I've got them in a bowl with ziplock bags of warm water and covered by moist tissues. I've been dabbing water on the tissues several times to keep them moist and dabbing water on the egg membrane if it starts to look too dry (I've read about chicks sticking & dying in dry shells). They peep and move a little but not much. I'm concerned about how to care for them without an incubator for the next day or two until they're ready to zip. (They are definitely not ready to zip yet because there are blood vessels.) I'm also concerned if they will have the energy to zip after this ordeal. Because they got cold maybe they will be too weak? Any ideas what else I can do to help them?

I widened the holes just a little to check their status and stopped as soon as I found blood vessels so that is why the holes look funny in the pic. Any help is appreciated.

(I am aware of the problems with helping a chick out of its shell, what with blood vessels and yolk sacs absorbing and all that. I don't plan to do that unless I'm quite sure they are ready and unable to do it themselves.)


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