Hope someone can help me. First off- a question I need answered soon. The write up on chick hatch assisting said to use bacitracin on the membrane of the egg if you pulled the shell away a bit from the pip. I don't have any bacitracin, but I have a little packet of something called bacitracin zinc ointment USP. Is this okay to use? I think zinc might have some drying out elements to it and I'm afraid to use it. The only other stuff I have is neosporin with pain relief ointment, which the write up says not to use. Anyone know? Here's what occurred: I have a broody hen sitting on eggs. Two hatched already this week. She has about five more, though one I'm pretty certain is a dud, but all others have shown signs of growth. Three of these that have not hatched (their due date is today) are from my pullets first eggs- so they are on the small size. I was concerned last night because when I candled them, two of the eggs (the smaller sized ones) were ALL black, no air cell (and they did have air cells of decent size before). I did not know if this meant the chick had died inside or not or if it was just ready to come out. No peeping or rocking observed. Two others have air cells and seem right on target- no pips from them yet though. This morning, when I checked on the hen and her chicks and eggs, she had moved her chicks off of the nest and was on the other side of the coop (she has a special room just for her and chicks). I figured this meant all the eggs had died and she was no longer interested in sitting. I went over, felt the eggs and they were lukewarm but cold on the outer exposed side. I decided to inspect them and low and behold one had pipped! I was freaking out because it was also cool to the touch. Remembering that this was one of the eggs without an air cell, and the fact that it seemed the mother abandoned the nest, I pulled away a bit of the pipped shell- about maybe 3 to 5 mm. I then saw the beak and heard the the chick peeping. I then (probably stupidly) showed the egg to the mother hen so that she could see and hear that the baby was alive, (I was hoping it would prompt her to get back on the nest) in which her response was a peck at where I pulled away the shell. Well, this resulted in what I think was a bruise to a vein in the membrane. I did not see bleeding outwardly, just that her peck looked like it damaged the vein a bit- a bruise. She then got back onto the nest and I tucked the egg back under her with the pipped hole up. That's where I left her. I don't plan on pulling any more of the shell away... I did so because I was worried that there was no air for the chick, which was why I pulled a little bit of shell away so that it i could breathe if it was possibly still alive. I was hoping to put some of this bacitracin on the membrane that is exposed, but all I have is bacitracin zinc ointment. I'm worried to put that on it for fear it will harm the chick in some way. Can anyone assist me any further in this? I have somewhat blocked the hen from coming out of the egg box (nest) so that she stays, but really I'm at a loss.