Commercial hatcheries in the United States Department of Agriculture's 19-state weekly program set 200 million eggs in incubators during the week ending March 16, according to the agency's weekly broiler hatchery report. This was up 1 percent from the eggs set the corresponding week a year earlier.

Average hatchability for chicks hatched during the week was 84 percent. Average hatchability is calculated by dividing chicks hatched during the week by eggs set three weeks earlier. 

Broiler growers in the 19-state weekly program, meanwhile, placed 165 million chicks for meat production during the same week. Placements were up 1 percent from the comparable week a year earlier. Cumulative placements from December 30, 2012 through March 16 for the 19-state total were 1.80 billion, up 1 percent from the same period a year earlier.