Lactate concentration in blood, liver, yolk, amniotic and allantoic fluid and blood pyruvate was measured in embryos in the final week of incubation. Blood lactate was low up to day 18. The blood lactate/pyruvate ratio and liver lactate increased from day 19 until hatching. From day 14 to 19, lactate concentration in amniotic fluid remained constant, it increased 2-fold in yolk and 10-fold in allantoic fluid. There was only a 48% net accumulation of lactate in the three cavities. In conclusion, fowl embryos do not turn to anaerobic metabolism until the hatching process starts on day 19.