After seeing various posts on helping chicks out of their shell if they struggle I have hatched some out in an incubator and some natural with hens sitting them. Natural was no problem but after 5 Rhode Island chicks in the incubator hatched I watched the sixth struggle. It peeped for over a day stuck in the same position and after reading YOU MUST NOT TRY TO HATCH let nature sort it self I left it as long as I could. This morning it was still the same when I actually looked at it the membrane was stuck solid to the chick inside so as a last resort iI thought if it stays inside it will die and if I try to help it could die so here goes. I got a cup of warm water and covered the shell and moistened the chick carefully and did this a few times until the bird was wet through and not as stuck, then I carefully peeled some of the shell away to release it until most of the top end of the shell had gone and only the rear end of the bird was stuck to the shell, In which I wet it through again, At this point I had to go to work but got my mum to check and add more water to the rear as it was still stuck solid and at this point did begin to loosen I didn't rip the shell off as I thought this could kill the chick. When I got in from work it was completely dry again (the incubator was fine) so into a bowl of warm water it went to try and release it from the shell which was now stuck to its back, at this point it came away and the bird looked in poor cond but I thought at least its had a chance I thought it either thrives or dies so I wrapped it on a towel tried to dry it off so it was warm and It took a while for it to come around but it is now stood up and moving about. The foot on one side is a bit deformed maybe that's why it couldn't get out in the first place who knows. Ive give it a drop of cod liver oil to help its joints and maybe will help the foot and the others are okay with it so we shall see. To help or not to help do your best for them that's all you can do at least it will give them a chance.
For future reference I'm going to keep a spray gun to spray them to keep them damp if this happens again it may be an idea.
PS to add to this my husband dropped the incubator lid on two of the eggs 3 days ago and cracked 2 eggs bad so I put candle wax on them and still one has hatched and is a really healthy chick so we have been quite lucky really
Edited by kalilou2 - 4/30/12 at 2:11pm