we had a birds nest in the back yard. but our cat scared it away. there was one egg in the nest and ive created a sort of incubator for it(a cardboard box,some cottton wool and a light bulb) but the egg was left for a few hours and im just wondering how long it could survive without heat from its mother.
any help would be much appreciated
As others have stated many hens do not start incubating (sitting ) on their eggs till the last egg is laid.
I have a beautifull IRN Hen that I was hopeing would lay last year, she did, but she was only in the box for about ten minutes each day after she layed the first egg, She laid four eggs all on alternate days so there was eight days between when the first egg and the last was laid, she never sat on the eggs at all except to lay the next one in that eight days. I knew the eggs could last awhile, but even I was worried these eggs wouldn't hatch because she was never in the box, I was actually convinced that I'd get no cнιcκs from her at all. But after eight days and the last egg, she did decide to sit--and all four eggs hatched fine.
So they can go quite awhile without the hen sitting and still be viable to hatch.
If there is only one egg in the nest, the female is most likely still in the laying process and will not start incubating until the clutch is complete or nearly complete...so just leave the nest alone and she should come back to lay the rest of them. Put the egg back or she will think a predator has eaten it and she will abandon and have to start a nest all over again!
Most birds lay more then one egg in their clutch.
A bird will not start actively setting the eggs until the entire clutch is laid.
This bird may not be done having eggs.
Leave everything alone and let nature take its course.
Keep the cat inside and away from any and all birds and their nests.
if its cold outside then only for a few minutes but if it was hot outside then u hav like 10 min or less
if u got it in like 5 min from a hot temputer then u must hurry tho
theres an easier way to find out turn off all lights close the windows hav a flashlight uder the egg turn it on and see if u find a figure if not then take it to the vet just in case