WASHINGTON – Broiler hatcheries in the 19 state weekly program set 201 million eggs in incubators during the week ending March 15, a 1 percent increase from a year ago, the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 83 percent.

Broiler chicks placed for meat production slipped 1 percent for the week, according to NASS. Broiler growers in the 19 state weekly program placed 163 million chicks for meat production.

Cumulative placements Dec. 29, 2013, through March 15 were 1.86 billion, a slight decline from the same period a year ago, NASS noted.