Helping a Chick Out of the Shell?

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
203
206
Northern Wisconsin
Many people have helped chicks, some say not to, some do it all the time. There is an article on here about when to help and when not to and how to go about it, you should read that. I personally have a hard time telling when a chick actually needs help and when it doesn't, I think too many inexperienced people diagnose a problem where there is none and go about helping only to discover that the chick wasn't ready yet and then it will die anyways. I will only help if a chick has been pipped for a long time and hasn't made progress and then all I will do is make the hole a little bigger and tear away some outer membrane in the air cell area of the egg.
 

ClareScifi

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
1,888
52
204
What do you consider to be a long time? My egg was abandoned by the Mama Hen, and I held it next to me all morning. At about noon it started peeping. It has a small hole with its beak out but it has not zipped. Someone said it can take an egg 24 hours to hatch. It was actually due to hatch today, but the Mama abandoned the nest because the eggs were staggered, and day 1's eggs and day 2's egg had hatched, so she was busy with the baby chicks. She couldn't wait for day 3 to emerge. How long should I wait before helping, in your opinion? I'd rather not help. The idea terrifies me, but I'd hate to see the chick die needlessly.
 

blucoondawg

Songster
6 Years
Jan 27, 2013
1,650
203
206
Northern Wisconsin
Well if you don't have an incubator I think you may have a hard time here, normally I would recommend just putting the egg in the incubator and letting the chick hatch, the chick most likely doesn't need help, just more time, which without an incubator or mother hen, it will not get.

At this point the chick needs 2 things, continued heat which the hen or incubator would provide, and moisture to prevent the membrane from drying out and preventing the chick from zipping out. It can take a chick even more than 24 hours to hatch after a pip, sometimes they have pipped and they are still not done absorbing the yolk sac, that is the dangerous part of helping, if you help too early and it still has exposed yolk sac it can have a bad outcome. All you can really do is keep the egg warm somehow, as close to incubating temp as you can, I would smear some sort of Neosporin without pain reliever around the edge of the pip to keep the membrane moist, it would be a plus if you could put it in some sort of container which would keep it warm and allow you to add humidity which is unlikely if you don't have incubator, but you could mist the outside of the shell with a spray bottle of warm water occasionally to help with the moisture and maybe set it under a light bulb in a box or something to keep warm, keep misting the shell being careful not to mist the chicks beak and drown it or spray too much into the shell pip and drown it, rather than misting you could also set the egg in a wet paper towel for added moisture. If after a day or so it hasn't hatched yet what I do is carefully make the pip larger, almost to the point that the chick could crawl out of the hole but only enlarge it in the air cell area of the egg, I would at this point remove the outer membrane, that is the one that is white or opaque and doesn't have blood vessels, at that point you should have a large enough hole to see in and see the inner membrane around the chick and see if it still has blood vessels in it, if it has large blood vessels then the chick is not done developing, in any case this is as far as I will take it, with that large hole the chick should be able to get out if it is able. I never fully remove the shell from a chick unless it is most the way out and there is a large piece of shell dried on to the chick's fuzz. I won't chance removing the bottom of the shell if I cannot tell if it is done developing or not.
 

One Chick Two

Songster
6 Years
Jun 13, 2013
1,066
186
196
A few days ago we had to help this little BCM completely out of his shell after weakening from two days of zipping. He was shrink wrapped dried into his membrane. We wet the membrane, trimmed it and kept him in the incubator for another few days to rest, but it was stuck in his pinfeathers all the way to the skin! His eye and his vent were even glued shut at first. He's doing SO much better now. Eating, drinking and socializing. His mates have pecked away the last bits, and he has bald patches, but he is looking much better and even put on a little weight.

 

chicken17

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 22, 2014
24
0
22
I helped 2 chick out of there shells 2 days ago and they are doing just fine the main factor is to go slow
 

ClareScifi

Songster
8 Years
Mar 30, 2011
1,888
52
204
Do you think I should try to put the pipped egg back under the hen, since it is nighttime. She abandoned it this morning to take care of her 3 new chicks. Or would she just kick it out of the nest or peck it to death? I am worried the egg will not get enough moisture to hatch.
 
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