How long to zip??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TarHeelBlue, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. TarHeelBlue

    TarHeelBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Chick pipped yesterday morning, started zipping about an hour or two later. This morning he has gotten over half way around, but no further?? How long will this take (before you decide he can't get it and help???)
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    To be honest, as tough as it is, I wouldn't help. First, by opening the incubator to help one, you are putting others at risk of shrink wrap. Second, if it is not strong enough to hatch, it may not be strong enough to live either. I know that sounds cold (and I am really not a cold person [​IMG]) - I just think it is Mother Nature's way of ensuring "survival of the fittest".

    The good news is, you probably don't need to worry too much. Hatching is hard work and they sometimes need to pause and take a nap to regain strength to complete the job. Find a chore that needs doing to take your mind off it, and when you come back, the chick will probably be zipping around the incubator on those wonky sea legs.
  3. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    Opening the incubator is BAD - - VERY BAD. It will shrink wrap them and they won't be able to get out of the shell.

    If you have not opened it and our just watching through a window - - - then relax.
    Some of mine have taken 18 hours to go from pip to totally out of the shell.

    I had an emergency this last hatch and had to open my incbator, I shrinked wrapped four other chicks that were in the process of zipping at the same time. I did end up assisting those and have had great results with those chicks. They were boouncing around with everyone else within 24 hours AND they were the same size as everyone as within a couple of days.

    THIS is how I helped them out of the shell . . . .
    First, turn the shower on hot water in the bathroom. Shut the door and get it all steamy. You need the humidity.

    Next, run warm water to the sink. Get a wash cloth wet with warm water.

    BE QUICK with the next step - - - quickly open the incubator grap you egg and wrap it in the wet warm wash cloth. This stops it from shrink wrapping more. Take the chick to the bathroom and shut the door. It should be warm and steamy in there . . . .
    Where the chick has started zipping, finish peeling the hard shell around the egg - - - YOU ARE NOT REMOVING ALL THE SHELL. Just the ring the chick would of peck out before pushing it open. Under the shell is the membrane layer that got shrink wrapped. Well, between the humidity from the shower and the warm wash rag - - - it should be moist again. SLOWLY and carefully, start breaking the membrane loose in that ring - - - start where the chick had left off. Lay the egg down on the wash rag while doing this. .. After you start breaking that membrane the chick should be able to push the egg apart and finish the zipping.

    Rinse out the wash rag in warm water, wrap the chick in it and return it to the incubator for another 24 hours. It will dry off during this time . . . If you have a separate brooder area set up - - you can use it too.

    The less times you open the incubator the better, so get some help doing this so that you can remove two eggs at a time if you need too. I would not interfere with the hatching process until the chick has tried for a full 24 hours to come out. Some are out within a couple of hours of starting the zipping and some take a long 15, 16, 17 hours to finish what they start.

    I, also, would not interfere with hatching EVEN IF IT IS LONGER than 24 hours unless you opened the cooler and shrink wrapped the chick. It is a LOT better that the chick die in the shell than it dies 7 days later or worse 8 weeks later. Weak at birth is weak later. They will be the first to get sick.

    Good luck
  4. Cranman

    Cranman Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 2, 2010
    Sanford NC
    Great info Math ace, I have my second hatch of 22 going into lockdown tonight, need all the advice I can get!
  5. TarHeelBlue

    TarHeelBlue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yukon, Oklahoma
    Guess when I get home I may have to help him because it will be about 27 hours since it started to zip? I can't just watch struggle lime that. I did slightly open the bator earlier but the humidity went from 73. To 71 only. Would this cause the shrink wrap. I only lifted one side a small crack
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Well, it might not even BE shrink wrapped. Opening the bator doesn't always shrink wrap chicks. I'm doing a staggered hatch just now and during the first lockdown I was having to open the bator four or five times a day to turn the other eggs. The bator was open for maybe 30 seconds each time. I had four chicks due to hatch and all four of them pipped and zipped and shoved their way out perfectly. No shrink wraps and I had been opening the bator even after they'd pipped.

    How many eggs have you got in there and how many have pipped/hatched already? You should also consider the possibility that this is just a weak or unhealthy chick that wouldn't survive if left to hatch by itself. I used to help those ones but now that I'm breeding my own birds, I don't. I want my flock to be as strong and hardy as possible and I don't want to breed weakness into my birds.

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