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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.

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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.

Choosing the right breed of chickens for a backyard flock is an important decision. From left, Tripp, Luna and Charlie Sanders examine chicks for sale March 8, 2017, in Starkville, Mississippi. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Kat Lawrence)
Filed Under: Poultry March 16, 2017

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Families willing to host a flock of feathered friends reap the benefits of fresh eggs delivered daily just outside the door.

What started several years ago as an underground "urban chicken" movement has become much more common and widely accepted. Today, raising backyard chickens has gained popularity nationwide, boosted by interest in locally grown foods that avoid the energy use and carbon emissions typically associated with transporting food.

Filed Under: Agriculture, Corn, Peanuts, Rice, Soybeans, Sweet Potatoes, Poultry December 15, 2016

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- The estimated $7.6 billion value of Mississippi agriculture increased by 1.8 percent in 2016, helping the industry retain its prominence in the state's overall economy.

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