The actual hatching isn't a quick process, though. After the initial pip, the chick will rest inside the shell-- most times for several hours-- getting acclimated to breathing air, and resting in preparation for the next phase of hatching. Then the chick will continue to use that egg tooth to move round and round in the egg, cutting through the shell. The chick will continue to slowly cut through the circumference of the shell until the bird can force the shell open with it's body from the inside. So really, the chick won't continue to peck at the same spot that was initially pipped, but instead cut a nice slice around the egg --- I find this part so amazing to imagine. The bird turning inside the egg to continue to slice around the circumference of the shell. AMAZING, God! (Oh, and the chicks lose the egg tooth within the first few days after hatching. They just don't need it anymore!)
This process is hard work! So we wait, and we watch for pipping. Then we wait some more, and we let those little chicks rest and get ready for the exhausting - but exciting - beginning of life outside the shell.
We hope you're enjoying this process with us! Here is a wonderful page at Raising Happy Chickens that gives more detail -and pictures- regarding the pipping and hatching process. https://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/chick-hatching.html
I'm the Anatomy & Physiology instructor at New Castle Homeschool Co-op for the 2017-18 school year. As an extension to our class, my family is participating in a 4-H Embryology Program, and will be hatching up to 24 white leghorn chicks in Mid-March. If you would like to learn and enjoy the project with us, we'd love to have you along!