Chick stuck in egg for 36 hours - time to interfere - PLEASE HELP


11 Years
Nov 4, 2008
Wildwood, GA
Okay, so I know that it's better off to leave the chick alone. I've heard the philosophies, if it's not strong enough to make it out of the shell, it's not strong enough to live.

But, I think the humidity got too low, and it's dried up in there.

So, I've decided I'm going to try to help.

I used a straw to put tons more water in there, and left it alone for the past 8 hours.

So, I'm going to start helping the chick out....any advice would be helpful.



11 Years
Jun 26, 2008
Columbiaville, MI
get your tap water to lukewarm. barely stick the shell under a thin stream and let it wet the shell enough to pull off gently. don't drown the chick (i know, that is a Captain Obvious statement)

pull gently and rinse any dried stuff you can. put back into the bator to dry properly.

i cannot promise results, but i did have to go in after one of mine and that's how i did it.

blessings for a healthy little chick.


10 Years
Feb 21, 2009
Columbia river gorge
you need to carefully chip away small pieces of the shell have a bowl of water near by to dab the membrane carefully with if it is drying out try to do it in a warm area, if you see any blood stop and wait a few minutes. I ahve never done this and its tricky at best . Good luck and hopeuflly someone who knows more will answer soon . Try not to pull hte baby out try to just do enough to get his head clear first and see if he can do some on his own.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Mar 10, 2009
Chapel Hill, NC
We have done this before. After 36 hours it may be late but it is worth a try. The little one has been struggling for awhile.

What we do:
Gently lift the egg and keep it in the same position. Pick at the shell and take small bits off one at a time. If you encounter a blood vessel go in another direction. If there is blood stop right away. If you get too much blood the chick will bleed out. If a little blood go in the other direction or just set that egg back in the incubator for a bit.

Once you get the chips away and a decent sized hole break the membrane gently. Do not do this if you see any active blood vessels. If you see them but the chick and the egg back in the incubator and give it time to close those vessels. I open a large enough hole to let the chicks head and shoulders escape. Do not take the chick out of the shell. Do not pull the chick or try to unravel it. Let it stay curled until it is ready. Put the chick and the shell in either the brooder or the incubator and let it pull away on its own.

We have done this about 20 times. We have managed to save maybe 15 chicks. Some were too far gone. Some of the 15 had problems or were weak chicks which might be why they couldn't get out in the first place. All of the 15 lived to adulthood.

I like the suggeston to keep a bit of water around. We use a soaked cloth but the water may be better.


11 Years
Nov 4, 2008
Wildwood, GA

Thanks everyone for the great advice! There was no bleeding.

The poor baby had even pooped in it's shell. It's weak and exhausted, but it's warm and drying in the bator.

Let's hope it survives!

People kept telling me, "if it's not strong enough to get out of the shell, then it's not strong enough to live outside the shell"

But after I came home and saw it stillllll stuck in there, I had to go for it.

Thanks guys for the great support that you always give!

Now let's hope chickie pulls through
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12 Years
Sep 19, 2007
Thurmont, MD
I had one last week that pipped out the side and after 30 hours, I got some expert advice from SpeckledHen and helped my Barred Rock out. She is a girl, huge and just laid there for about 1 hour then up and she has never looked back.

Hope your chicks does fine.
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In the Brooder
11 Years
Apr 10, 2008
Camden, NC
I had the same thing happen today! It was 36 hours, the last chick, I'm going in!! Nervous, gosh I've done it before several times but one time it.....horrified...I can't even go there, it was almost 15 years ago, I'll never forget it. Anyway, He/She never stopped talking. It's probably a roo (like I need MORE???) but I did it anyway. It was so tired I ended up dumping it of the shell in the end..well, not dumping, you'll know what I mean. It took the chick about 2 hours to recover enough to put in the brooder. For some reason this big beefer decided to pip out of the small end. This chick was so huge I thought there was 2 in there. I just checked, can't tell this late Barnevelder from the ones that hatched in the morning.

Ahh, how is your chick doing now? Are you finished with your hatch?

Kind regards;



ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn
11 Years
Aug 2, 2008
You figure at that point there's nothing to lose! Glad you got it out. I had a bunch die last hatch because their yolks didn't absorb right. I probably should have waited longer. Your baby looks okay. Just very tired. Poor thing!

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