Predicting Chick Quality: Which Is Best - Chick Length Or Hatch Day Body Weight?
Measuring chick quality has been a difficult issue since the beginning of the poultry industry. There have been many attempts over the decades to evaluate chick quality in the hatchery to predict future performance in the broiler house. One can examine chicks in the hatchery and enumerate conditions such as the incidences of red hocks, open navels, string navels, and other abnormalities. In most circumstances, the percentage of these obviously poor quality chicks is so low that it is difficult to predict how the majority of the chicks will perform as a flock after placement on the farm. There have been attempts to calculate a chick quality index using these variables, but the process was cumbersome and, in many cases, did not accurately predict future broiler performance.