Chick zipped but not hatching. Should I help??


15 Years
Dec 9, 2008
Desert Hills, AZ
I have a chick that zipped this morning. The egg is cracked, but the chick is not busting out. It is now about 10 hours later and it still doesn't seem to be able to get out. Is the membrane dried out? I have dripped warm water on it twice hoping to help lubricate. Each time it starts doing more moving and it seems as if it will hatch, but no hatch.

Should I help? I know there is a risk of bleeding, etc.

Hubby is pushing me to help. Advice please!!!
I wish I had an answer for you. I lost one zipping today and one in my previous hatch. I know some here help them along and others don't interfere. I was hoping someone would've answered you with better advice, sorry. What ever you decide best of luck.
I wouldn't put any water on the egg unless you know where the beak is. You don't want to drown it. Give it some more time, it may just be resting until the final push. I wait 24hrs from the intial pip, then I start to help. Good luck, I know it is nerve wrecking. Go with your instinct though.

If you have to help, just peel the egg away gently. Watch for veins that may bleed, if you do, put in back in and wait another hour or two and begin again. If the membrane is dry, get an eye dropper or syringe and put some warm water on the membrane.
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Remember my little fiasco last month? I say go with your gut, but if it zipped this morning, and you don't see any blood and it is still breathing ok, I suggest you give it until morening. If you will spend all night freaking out about it, give it until midnight.

I think you said you already moved the other chicks out of the bator? You may need to sit and make some peeping noises to "encourage" it out of the shell. It may just be tired.

good luck!
I would help a little. There is a great sticky on helping. You know the risk of bleeding and that you have to go slow - I just have lost too many waiting for them to hatch and it seems like it has been a long time. Did it pip in the night or just this morning?
Laree, refresh my memory. Did you lose the chick?

cracking up, I didn't find that sticky in my search. I will look some more. It was pipped this morning when we got up. It zipped around 10 am. The other chicks have been rolling it around. Poor thing probably got dizzy.

4-H chicken mom, the beak is showing and it is peeping, so I didn't drown it.

If it was making continual progress, I would just leave it, but it stopped making any progress hours ago. It just seems stuck. When it does make a push, it just can't seem to pop the egg apart even though the egg is cracked all the way around, well most of the way. It looks like it should just come out easily at this point. Hmm..
The chick lived, but died 2 days after. HOWEVER- I chose to help it out because it was fully zipped, and THEN punctured an un-absorbed yolk sack. The blood was creeping towards the other eggs, and it would have drowned, even though it was in perfect position. The egg was just filling up with liquid.
I answered on the AZ thread in detail. I'd help it.

oh, and we want more pics of my grand chickie babies!
My last chick has been pipped since well before noon. 20 minutes ago I finally took him out and carefully, oh so painstakingly carefully, removed as much of the shell as I felt comfortable doing. I use a tiny pair of cosmetic scissors, they are slightly curved which is perfect for the purpose. I gingerly work around where he pipped, making sure there is no veins or chick where I am about to nip. You have to move very slow, it is a nervewracking process- I could never be a surgeon! My little guy has still not hatched, I think he may have had trouble absorbing the yolk and I am just not sure he is going to pull through.
HOWEVER- last month's fiasco was a do or die situation. I have helped out other chicks with no issue: IE- that gynourmous CM roo I just sold, and my sizzle.
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