Almost 12.04 billion broiler eggs were set in hatcheries last year, a record number and an increase of 2.4 percent over the 11.76 billion eggs set in 2018, according to the Hatchery Production 2019 Summary issued this week by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

By comparison, chicks placed totaled 9.68 billion in 2019, 2.2 percent above the 9.47 billion in 2018. Chicks placed in 2019 were 80.4 percent of the eggs set last year while the comparable data for 2018 was 80.5 percent.

States setting more than one billion eggs in 2019 were Georgia with 1.81 billion, Alabama with 1.57 billion, Arkansas with 1.26 billion, and North Carolina with 1.15 billion. Three states placed more than one billion chicks. These were Georgia with 1.41 billion, Alabama with 1.19 billion, and Arkansas with 1.15 billion.

Broiler-type chicks hatched in 2017 in the United States were 9.62 billion, in 2018 9.71 billion, and in 2019 9.92 billion. Last year’s total was 2.2 percent more than in 2018 and 3.1 percent above 2017.

Chicken hatcheries on January 1, 2020 totaled 278 with an incubator capacity of 990,536,000 eggs compared with year earlier of 282 hatcheries having a capacity of 969,646,000 eggs. Although there were four fewer hatcheries, the capacity increased by 20,890,000 eggs or 2.2 percent. The report can be viewed here.