You are here

Chick removal from hatchery

The time period that is normally recommended between hatching and removal of chicks from the hatching unit or incubator is about 1 to 24 hours.

The earliest elapsed time before removal is usually about 1 hour. The ideal chick must be able to walk well and has dried, fluffy down. If the chick is still wet, it should stay in the hatcher even if all other chicks are ready for removal. A wet chick becomes quickly chilled and often dies soon after removal.

If all eggs do not hatch within 24 hours after the first hatchling emerges, open the hatching unit and remove all dry chicks. Leave wet chicks until they are dry and strong. It is best to remove chicks at 18 to 24 hours intervals after the first chick hatches. If chicks are still hatching when the hatcher is opened, it is important to quickly remove dry chicks and close the hatcher before the humidity drops too low.

The primary reason for not allowing the chicks to stay in the hatcher for longer periods is excess dehydration of the chicks. The chicks have enough food reserves to provide their bodies with nourishment for 3 days. They do not have additional moisture reserves and can become dehydrated if left in the hatcher too long. A dehydrated chick is identified by looking at the scaly portion of the legs (shanks). If the shanks are smooth and rounded, the chick is normal and does not immediately need water. If the shanks are angular and show sharp angles on the front and backs, they are dehydrated and in a stage of stress. Be sure that plenty of cool, fresh drinking water is available in the brooding area.

Additional information on proper incubation practices can be found in Hatching Quality Chicks and Hatchery Management Guide.

Printer Friendly and PDF


Filed Under: Commercial Fruit and Nuts, Green Industry, Organic Fruit and Vegetables, Other Vegetables, Corn, Cotton, Nuts, Peanuts, Soybeans, Equine, Goats and Sheep, Poultry, Lawn and Garden, Forestry, Seafood Economics, Seafood Harvesting and Processing March 7, 2018

ELLISVILLE, Miss. -- Mississippi State University representatives met with agricultural clients in Ellisville recently to discuss research and education needs for 2018. More than 115 individuals attended this year's event.

Scores of chickens are seen inside a poultry house.
Filed Under: Agricultural Economics, Poultry December 19, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The poultry industry is the giant in the state’s agricultural economy, as its estimated 2017 production value of $2.8 billion nearly doubles the value of forestry.

Early figures from the Mississippi State University Extension Service show the industry grew at an estimated 13.4 percent from the 2016 value. Brian Williams, Extension agricultural economist, said higher broiler prices are responsible for the value increase.

Dressed in a pink T-shirt and blue jeans, broiler grower Teresa Dyess stands next to two wagon wheels in front of a barn on her family farm.
Filed Under: Women for Agriculture, Poultry October 20, 2017

In three days, Teresa Dyess shifted her business focus from produce to poultry.

The change began two years ago with an offhand remark from her husband, Joe Dyess.

 “He told a broiler grower in Wayne County we wouldn’t mind building pullet houses because we wanted to diversify our farm,” she said. “We didn’t think any more about it, and then the next day a poultry processor called and offered us a contract. A banker came the next day, and everything fell into place.”

Lanette Crocker, coordinator for the MSU Extension Service in Wayne County, said Teresa Dyess’ adaptability has helped her maintain success through the farm’s transition.

Hen flock inventories grew after the poultry industry recovered from the 2015 avian influenza outbreak, increasing the number of eggs on the market and driving down the price. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kevin Hudson)
Filed Under: Poultry August 4, 2017

RAYMOND, Miss. -- Mississippi's poultry industry remains healthy with a strong demand for broilers and a positive outlook for the remainder of 2017.

Filed Under: Avian Flu March 30, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- All Mississippians who raise any species of poultry are being urged to follow strict biosecurity practices and review new requirements regarding sales and exhibitions.

Tom Tabler, poultry specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, said that while avian influenza is not a threat to human health or food safety, an outbreak would endanger backyard flocks and the state’s nearly $3 billion commercial poultry industry.


Farmweek, Entire Show, August 28, 2015

Season 39 Show #08

Thursday, August 27, 2015 - 7:00pm

Contact Your County Office

Your Extension Experts

Extension Associate III
Extension Professor
Extension Instructor