A different approach to assisted hatching

Lacy Blues

7 Years
I received some shipped eggs about 3 weeks ago. I had hoped that since they didn't have to travel across the country that they would fare well.

Long story short, I had ONE that made it to hatching day.

After my other eggs had all hatched, I candled the last one, a marans egg. I could tell there was movement inside but it was nowhere near pipping. I needed this chick to survive. It cost me a lot of money to get those eggs and have them shipped... so in essence, this is the most expensive chick I have ever bought.

So, I pipped the egg at the air cell end. This air cell spanned the length of the entire egg in a spot about 3/4 of an inch wide, so I could see all the way to the bottom. Down at the very bottom, I could see a very pointy little spot that told me the chick was upside down! I opened the egg enough that I could reach down with a thin tool and clear the membrane from over the tip of the beak. Then I went to the outside and pipped the shell where the beak point was located. I spread some antibiotic ointment on the membrane at the air cell end to keep it as moist as possible and put it back in the incubator. This was at about 10pm.

The next night, almost 24 hours later, the chick had made no progress and as far as I could tell, hadn't even tried.

I took the egg out and moistened the membrane at the breathing end and opened it up just a bit more so the chick could move and put it back in the incubator. That was last night at about 11pm.

This morning, the chick was finally making some noise and struggling a bit. I needed to feed/water my other birds so it was a little while til I could get to the chick. Once it started trying to zip that shell, I knew that when its hock joints came to that spot that I had removed the shell, it wouldn't be able to proceed... I had a plan!

I took the egg out and this is how it looked...

At the "top" of the egg, you can see a hock joint sticking out. I smeared some more antibiotic salve on the exposed hiney of the chick in question to add lubrication for his spin around the egg while zipping and to keep membranes soft and as extra protection for the next step.

I took another egg that was as similar in shape and size as I could find, cracked it and removed the contents, washed it out, microwaved it til it was screamin' hot to kill any bacteria and then after cooling, checked the fit...

I put 3 drops of super glue right at the edge of the white shell to bond them together to give the chick something to push against.

Back into the incubator.

He started pipping right away, turning in the egg. If you look carefully you can see where the shell is breaking.

Pushing pushing pushing.

A couple of times, it looked like the membrane had dried in a couple of places so I removed the egg and applied water to the membrane and peeled it back just a little.

So tired! Trying to get that shell off!

Turned out it was stuck along the right leg so I assisted here, cutting the egg away til I could get to the membrane and moisten it.

This baby struggled in this egg for probably close to 45 minutes. They NEED that struggle. Its good for their legs. Makes them stronger. Its just not a good idea to remove the shell for them.

Last step...

I removed the materials from under the chick and changed them with fresh ones. I took the pan of water out of the incubator. Now the chick can rest and dry off.

Yolk is fully absorbed and the chick is tired but strong.

I'll post another picture when he is dry and standing up.

Sally Sunshine

Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Aug 23, 2012
Glad it made it for you Lacy Blues


11 Years
Jan 27, 2012
Rosenberg, TX
Ha! Oh my! You know I've always thought it would be awesome to be known as "the friend of God" but oh, the things that poor man had to go through.

I wish I had patience like this in every area of my life... maybe some day.
You and me both!!! I figure one of these days I will slow down and think things through......NEVER Sounded good there for a minute!!

Lisa :)


Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 27, 2012
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Thanks aart. I actually hope its a rooster. I have two marans hens with no roosters in my "egg flock." I actually call them yard birds as I don't breed them to any standard but my own for my locale and they're mostly for colored eggs and meat.
Oh, OK then...I hope it's rooster!


9 Years
Feb 15, 2013
That was really amazing. Thanks so much for posting all of the info and pics. Please follow up and let us know how the chick is doing!:eek:

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