Heard peeping/tapping ~20 hrs ago, but now there's nothing


In the Brooder
Nov 12, 2015
Hi there! I'm a bit new to the forum and even newer to incubating.

I recently got some BCM hatching eggs from here and ebay. None were broken but some had saddle air cells. I'm using a LG circulating bator and the temp/humidity for days 1-18 were 99-100/35%; lockdown was 98-99.5/70%. It is day 22 and I've had 3 hatch yesterday (day 20); all healthy and fluffy in their brooder (I moved them after they dried and I knew there were no other pips).

Here comes my concern. Everything was still and quiet from day 20-22, but last night (end of day 21) I heard peeping and saw some twitching from one egg. Whoo! Excitement! And I went to bed hoping to see a pip the next morning. Well, I got up and nothing. Ok, it might be sleeping. Few hours later, nothing. No peeping at all. So, like a newb (and scared sh*tless it suffocated/drowned), I quickly took it out and tapped it, listening for any sound. I felt movement inside and heard tapping/scratching. Thank God. I immediately put it back and checked the humidity, which was fine. I figured it was in the pipping process and let it alone. Now, ~6 hrs later, there is no movement or sound or pip. I'm sticking my head in the proverbial sand trying not to interfere, but I'm worried it died in the shell. I want to candle and make an assisted pip, but I don't want to interfere too early, either. > 0 <!!


Innocent Bystander
10 Years
Mar 3, 2011
The Land of Enchantment
Hi SeraCross!

Have you read Sally Sunshine's article Hatching 101? https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/hatching-eggs-101 and her guide to assisted hatching? https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/step-by-step-guide-to-assisted-hatching

If it has been 2 days since your others hatched, you might want to chip a small hole in the air cell end to look for veins in the membrane.

How many eggs do you have left? I know it's hard with Marans, but were you marking air cells? If so, how did they look?

Congratulations on the 3 chicks you have! Good luck.


In the Brooder
Nov 12, 2015
Yes, I have read both; twice, actually. XD

When I got home tonight (~1 hr ago), nothing had changed. I quickly candled it and saw an internal pip, but did not hear any peeping or see movement. Granted with Maran eggs it's a bit of a challenge to see anything. I did a float test and sure enough it was rocking. So I candled again and marked the location of the beak, then used a small drill bit to scrape away at the shell enough to make a small hole. I could see the beak through it and it peeped at me! So back into the bator it went. I can now see occasional twitches and the hole is a tad bigger from pecking.

The humidity is now at 79% to keep the membrane moist. Is that too high?

Oh, and there are 6 eggs left with no signs of viability yet. I did mark air cells and right now they're about 1/3 of the egg space.
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gimmie birdies

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Feb 12, 2013
Eastern WA
they may be developing a bit behind, but 1/3 egg is not worth helping. you also don't want to "help" and egg that has not pipped and rested 24 hrs after (even then). because if you do you will have goo, and a dead chick.

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