1. The objective of the study was to investigate the effects of breeder age and egg weight on hatching performance and morphological changes in segments of the small intestine of broiler chicks during a 21 h hatch window.2. Eggs from Ross broiler breeder flocks aged 29 (young) and 48 weeks (old) were classified as light (LE) or heavy (HE) and incubated at the same conditions. At 475h of incubation, eggs were checked every 3h to determine time of external pipping and hatching. The first 42 chicks to emerge from each group were weighed and chick length was measured and 14 chicks from each group were sampled to collect residual yolk and intestine segments. The rest of chicks were placed back in the incubator and chick weight and length were measured individually at 9, 15 and 21h after chicks hatched. At the end of 21h, 14 chicks from each group were sampled again and the same procedure was followed.3. The HE chicks pipped and hatched later than LE, regardless of breeder age. From hatch to the end of the hatch window, chick weight, but not yolk-free chick weight, gradually reduced. Relative residual yolk weight of chicks from both egg weights was similar at hatch, however, yolk sac utilisation was higher for LE chicks during the 21 h post-hatch period. At hatch, jejunum and ileum villus development was very similar for HE and LE chicks but greater development was observed for villus area with an increase in the jejunum villus length, width and goblet cell numbers in HE chicks.4. The longest jejunum villus and the widest duodenum and jejunum villus were obtained for HE chicks from old breeders indicating that HE chicks from old breeders would have a greater surface area for nutrient absorption.