I have never helped a chick/duckling hatch before, but several of my last clutch of chicks (which were in the incubator at the same time as my duck eggs) died in the shell, and one died after already starting to zip. This little one had pipped yesterday and then made no progress, other than to enlarge the hole slightly where he pipped. After all night and all day today I really felt like he needed help. I have been slowly removing shell starting at around 9:00 tonight and then letting him rest in the incubator, etc. The more I removed, the more it seemed like he was a tangled mess (I know that they can be a little tangled when they start zipping, but he had pipped at the wrong end, and just didn't seem like there was any way he could untangle himself.) I finally started pulling him around so he could pop out the right way. When he finally popped out, oh my gosh, he is huge!!!! I wish I had a picture to post, but I can't even see how he fit in that egg, there is just no way he could have maneuvered to hatch on his own.
I have left him in the bottom half of the egg shell, because it looks like there may still be yolk in there, I did not dig around to get a good look, but it looks mushy. He is also still wanting to curl up and not kick out, but is peeping at me.
Did I do the right thing? Should I do something else?
I am just putting him in the incubator for the rest of the night, hoping he will kick out on his own when he is ready.