One of my Silkie chicken hens has been setting on 4 eggs. I should have marked the calendar so I'd know when they should hatch, but I did not. And the hen was prone to confusion. She was apt to get in the wrong nest box, leaving her eggs to chill. I didn't think they would hatch. Still, I checked often, and yesterday an egg was "pipping." This means the little creature inside the egg was pecking the shell so it could exit. And as it did, it made a little "peeping" sound. I checked in the evening and the egg had a wider opening, the chick was chirping, but not much progress was being made.
All the experts tell us to NOT interfere with a hatching chick. So, I put the broody mama back on her nest and went inside. This morning the egg was still mostly intact. The membranes (that bit that sometimes sticks to hard boiled eggs and is such a pain to remove) were desert-dry. The shell was hard. I decided, "what the heck!" and scooped it up and brought it in the house. I dripped drops of warm water on the membranes. In less than a minute the chick kicked, hard, and one leg was free.
I kept dripping. Soon, both legs were stretching into the air. I dripped more, and gently lifted a wee corner of shell from over the chicks head. In seconds it had stretched and moved and was free of the prison of it's shell. It flexed in my palm, chirping hopefully. The shell fragments fell away. I took it right back outside and tucked it under it's mama.
This evening the chick was upright, dry and fluffy. Hopefully by tomorrow it will be out in the coop, eating and drinking and growing and being adorable.
I started my day with life happening in my hand. Top that!