WASHINGTON – Commercial hatcheries in the 19 state weekly program set 199 million eggs in incubators during the week ending April 14, a decrease of 5 percent compared to the year-ago period, according to the US Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).

NASS said average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 85 percent.

Broiler growers placed 164 million chicks for meat production during the week ending April 14, down 5 percent from the comparable period in 2011, according to NASS. Cumulative placements from Jan. 1 through April 14 were 2.44 billion, down 4 percent from the same period a year earlier.