WASHINGTON — During the week ending Jan. 2, commercial hatcheries in the 19-state weekly program set 203 million eggs in incubators, which is down slightly from the eggs set the corresponding week a year earlier, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 84%.

Broiler growers in the program placed 169 million chicks for meat production during the week ending Jan. 2. Placements were up slightly from the comparable week a year earlier. Cumulative placements from Dec. 28, 2008 through Jan. 2, 2010 were 8.79 billion, down 4% from the same period one year earlier.