WASHINGTON – Broiler chicks placed for meat production climbed slightly higher compared to 2017, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture said in its weekly Broiler Hatchery report. Producers placed 175 million chicks for meat production during the week ending Sept. 29.

Cumulative placements from the week ending Jan. 6 through Sept. 29 were 7.16 billion chicks, an increase of 1 percent from the same period a year ago, according to NASS.

Egg sets for the week ending Sept. 29 dipped slightly from a year ago to 214 million eggs in incubators. Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 82.6 percent. NASS calculates average hatchability by dividing chicks hatched during the week by eggs set three weeks earlier.