Effects of feeding conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) to hens on progeny chick development and composition at hatch (NHC) and three weeks of age (TWC) were assessed. CLA (0 or 0.5%, composed of mixed isomers of cis-9,trans-11 or trans-10,cis-12-CLA) was fed to hens with either safflower (SO) or olive oil (OO) (3 or 3.5%) to assure successful hatch for 2 weeks prior to collection for incubation. Maternal CLA feeding had no effect on hatchability, but improved egg fertility (p < 0.05). Maternal feeding of CLA with SO increased 21 day-old progeny growth, while CLA with OO decreased growth (oil*CLA, p < 0.05). In 25 day-old chicks (TWC), but not NHC, maternal CLA decreased the proportion of total body water (p < 0.05) and increased body ash (p < 0.05). While monounsaturated fatty acids were decreased and saturated fatty acids increased in eggs and NHC from hens fed CLA, no differences in fatty acid composition were observed in chicks at 25 days of age from hens fed CLA. Maternal CLA feeding resulted in the presence of c9,t11 and t10,c12-CLA in NHC, but only c9,t11 in the TWC. In conclusion, hens fed CLA led to improved fertility and altered body composition at 3 weeks of age.