Pips but no zip


In the Brooder
10 Years
Dec 5, 2009
Pride, LA
I have 5 eggs that pipped between 9:00 and 6:00 this morning but no zipping yet. They are banty eggs that started pipping on day 19. Humidity is between 58 and 60. Should I be worried yet?
No, I wouldn't worry yet. Hatching is exhausting work, and some chicks need to rest during the process. I also wouldn't intervene this early, especially seeing as they've pipped on day 19, because they may well still need to absorb the yolk. Patience is key. Good luck! Let us know the outcome.
Worried, not a lot. But watch them.

The chick is not really resting between pip and zip. I know we say that a lot on this forum, but it is really working hard. To prepare for hatch, it has to absorb the yolk, dry up blood vessels it no longer needs, and go through who knows what other changes before it can safely venture into the world. Some do a lot of this between internal pip and external pip. These usually zip pretty quickly after external pip. Some do a lot of this after external pip. These are the ones that we worry about because they seem to take forever. Twelve hours between pip and zip is not that unusual. And a few even zip before they have completely finished all this. Many of those still make it.

This is what makes it so hard to know when to intervene. If you try to help too early, you can wind up killing the chick. But if you wait too long, the chick can die. And if you open the incubator to help one, you might shrink wrap another. It is not an easy decision.

I don't know what is going on with yours. Your lockdown humidity is lower than I use, but the same humidities do not work for all of us. If you have had experience and those humidities have worked for you in the past, probably keep at it. But if you don't have a lot of experience with this incubator, you might consider trying to raise the humidity. I use a straw through a vent hole and put water in it using a syringe. If you use warm water, around incubation temperature, the humidity will come up faster than using cold water. You don't want to use hot water. That might cause a temperature spike if you add much hot water. Those incubators do not shed extra heat real well.

Yours may be perfectly fine. I honestly don't know. My concern is, with that humidity, the chick might be stuck in the shell and unable to zip. Might be, not definitely is. What I look for is yellow foamy stuff coming out of the pip hole. If you see that, the chick is stuck and needs help soon. I usually do not help unless I see that yellow foam. Some make it and some don't.

I'm not trying to panic you or make you worry too much. I'm just trying to give you an idea on what might be going on and what to look for. It is a stressful time. Good luck.
Thanks for all of yall's help. I have tried to get the humidity up I have two bowls and sponges in there but it doesn't seem to want to get above 60. I am using all of the same equipment that I used bowls, hydrometer, etc... I'm not sure if there is a problem with my hydrometer or if the humidity just won't go above that. Will making the room more humid help? My wife hangs her work clothes in that room to dry and the humidity seems to go up when she does. Maybe, or wishful thinking? I will be worrying at work until this afternoon so hopefully they can hatch.
Good afternoon everyone.
I had a similiar problem but mine would pip and then they would not hatch. I had 42 eggs and only 11 hatched 9 of them were not firtile but the other 22 pip but did not hatch. I checked the humidity and it avaraged between 60-75% I was able to save 3 by taking them out myself but the rest died. I started thinking i was doing somthing wrong.
The tept was kept at 99.5 - 98.7 and the Humidity was 60-75%. What could cause this? Next time I don't want to make the same mistake.
No only for lock down it was 46-52% for the first 18days. There was a spike in the heat to 102 for a few hours before i notice it.

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