I know you're not supposed to help with the hatching process, but it seemed necessary last night... We have a broody hen who was sitting on 5 eggs. Two hatched early yesterday morning. Yesterday evening I discovered another had a fine crack through it. Not a pip - it looked like it was an accident of some sort. I tapped gently on the egg and heard peeping, so I knew the chick was fine at this point. A short while later, however, one of the other hens insisted on laying her egg in THAT nest box and stepped on the egg in the process, breaking it pretty badly (the shell, but not the membrane). Mama hen wouldn't sit on it any more after that. As night fell and the chick was not attempting to hatch out, I made the decision to move it inside and put it in a towel-lined bowl under a heat lamp. A couple hours later and still nothing, although the chick was peeping loudly. At this point I was afraid the chick would die if I didn't help it. I very gently pulled away the pieces of shell. The membrane, which was partially broken, was very dry and hard. I very gently and slowly worked it off the chick. The entire process took an hour probably. I was so nervous, especially because there was light bleeding in some spots. I then gently and loosely covered it with the towel and left it under the light for the night. The chick looked great this morning! Chickie is now outside with mama and siblings. So so glad it worked out ok! I was so worried.