how long does it take the first egg to zip??


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 4, 2011
Ok so I need a little is day 21 for my 9 eggs in lock down. Yesterday around 3:30pm 1 egg started to zip. I was so excited checking on it like every half hour. I figured when I got up this morning I would have at least 1 chick but I don't. The shell is about 1/2 one side cracked and open to where you can see in. How long does it usually take the first egg to zip? These are silkie eggs if that matters.
Edited for : Is it chirping inside?

forever it seem like, lol

If it zipped then that means that it did not drown on pipping. From this point it is a waiting game. The little chick will work a little, then rest a little.
I dont think I have seen one go over 12 hours though. I have also never hatched a silkie, they might be different.
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bairo, thanks I cant tell if the chirping is coming from that egg or one of the other 8. It has made a defiant whole in the side of the shell so I'm assuming if its still alive then it is getting air.
i hatch silkies from my own hens, traditional under the hen and from an incubator, and it usually takes them anywhere from 1-10 hours to pip a good-sized hole in their egg before they start pushing apart the egg. once they start zipping, though, it usually only takes mine 1/2 hour to 2 hours to fully hatch. so, i dont know if im really thinking of the same thing, but thats how mine usually go..
My hatches are always at least 12 hours from first pip to beginning of zipping, and more often closer to about 18 hours. From start of zipping to completely hatching has been anything from half an hour (a fat duckling that had rested for a whole 48 hours between pipping and starting to zip!) up to probably another 12 hours or so. I've never hatched Silkies though. Are they really any different to normal chickens?

Usually the longest wait is between pipping and zipping, then they're quite quick to hatch. If they pip and then start to zip quickly, they might stop to rest halfway through the zipping part. I haven't often seen a chick that zips halfway then stops for more than an hour. What's your humidity sitting at? I'm just wondering if there's any chance the membrane could have dried up a bit and the chick's got itself stuck? Not trying to worry you, just wondering...
Well I have bad news...It has now been 24 hrs and another egg hatched. I thought it was weird that i wasn't hearing any chirps from that baby so after the other egg hatched and the baby is up and moving around I took the 1st egg out. The chick must have shrink wrapped it's self. My humidity is at 63-67% I was really surprised though because it had been zipping and was about a quarter of the way around the egg. I didn't open the bator so I know that wasn't the cause! I'm stumped???
65% humidity is what's usually recommended as the minimum acceptable humidity for lockdown and hatching. Maybe it just wasn't quite high enough for all of your chicks. Personally I like to have my lockdown humidity a bit higher at around 75%, but I've never tried to lower it as an experiment to see how low is good enough before they start having difficulties hatching. So it might have been the humidity, and it might not. There's no definite way to tell really. But you don't have to open the bator to get shrinkwrapped chicks. It can happen in a closed bator that's just not humid enough in the first place. It might be an idea to keep a close eye on the other eggs as they are hatching and think about raising the humidity slightly if you can...

But that particular chick could just have been in an area of the bator that gets more air from the fan blown on it, meaning it would be at risk of drying out while the other eggs would still be okay. Or it might have been a weak chick that was never going to make it anyway - that's quite a common thing to happen you know. It might not even have been shrinkwrapping that caused it to die. It could just have died for some other reason, and then the membrane dried out a bit afterwards. So there's a fair chance it wasn't anything you could have prevented.

How are the other eggs getting on now?
You can do that! Some people advise not to because it can draw bacteria in or something like that..... But on my old
Incubator I Had to. There were times that my eggs got quite wet and it never seemed to bother anything. Just make sure if you have pips not to get it in the hole and drown the chick! Good luck:)

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