In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 22, 2008
My chick went for about 5 hours now with no progress, not even a hole, just the original crack. No sounds coming any more.

I picked the shell away from the crack where a pip was started. Dry membrane! Almost no blood vessels remaining, just 1 visible with about 1 sq inch of membrane exposed. Chick seems to have rolled over and got his back to the air hole. Big air pocket was inside where membrane was away from the shell but all along the side not in the end. See him breathing. How much shell should I remove? Do I need to get a hole near his beak to breathe?
Oh, to clarify, this five hours was just since I found the crack. I was at work all day and have no idea how long he may have been in this same state of progress.
Go slow and if you see a vein stop. I would see if I could at least get to the little ones head.
I do not have a lot of experance. You could go for it or wait to see what some one else says.
You can either use a warm damp washcloth to moisten the membrane and/or continue picking around the shell.

Stop if it bleeds at all, it isn't ready.
It can take up to 24 hours for chicks to pip a hole and then zip out of their shells....after 24 hours is when you start worrying not before...they have to pip a hole, rest and then learn to breathe...

I've never had to help one out of its shell that has pipped....
What they said .... it was the dry membrane that concerned me a bit.

What is the humidity in there?
The humidity is 68%. I went with taking the shell off where the membrane was pulled away from it, since I figured there was less chance of hitting the chick of=r a vein or tearing the membrane.

The membrane was dry as a bone. I now have a humidifier running beside the incubator to keep up the moisture around it. The peep is exposed from head down to his lower belly area. I felt better about moistening the membrane once I knew where the head was. I dropped water all along the edge shoulders down and then wrapped him in a warm wet cloth with just head area exposed. He is in the incubator now and every few minutes he gives five or six shoves of his beak against the membrane like he's trying to sit up, lol.

The membrane has moistened so I can see through it pretty well now. I am going to leave him be from here on. Should I pip the other eggs to check their membranes as well?

Thank you so much for this site. The thread on intervention was so helpful! I would never have known what to do.

When I was in Jr High I built an incubator just like this and sort of threw three eggs in and never did a thing and they all three hatched. Two girls and a boy. They were Henny, Penny, and Brewster the Rooster. I had no idea it was so complicated to hatch! I didn't even check the humidity or temp. Just flicked on the bulb and put a dish of water in. I was talking to my mom and figured out that now I live in E Texas where the air runs and it's dry in the house. Then I lived on the Jersey Shore with no AC so we were swimming in humidity. I just lucked out.

Anyway. Thanks again, and someone please advise should I pip the others to see if they need moisture.
No - don't pip any that haven't pipped on their own. Give them time. They'll start to come out when they're ready.
Terrible news

It turns out that he wasn't pushing with his head, it was his butt. When I finally went back to ermove some more shell, membrane started coming with it and I could see that he was head down, where I probably drowned him with moisture.

This was my very first egg, so I steeled myself to remove him completely just to familiarize myself with what it looks like for future reference. It is weird, a layer of papery membrane peeled off and another layer that is clear stayed. I wrapped him back in the warm cloth, beak exposed and put him in the bator. No hope I suppose but not ready to give up till morning.

If he is dead (probably is) will it be harmful to the others that are pipping now?

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