Using retrograde labelling with the fluorescent tracer rhodamine B isocyanate (RITC), we have examined the organisation of the thalamofugal and tectofugal visual projections to the forebrain of the young chick. In addition, we have investigated the influence of light exposure prior to hatching on the development of the tectofugal visual projections. Our results for the thalamofugal projections ... [Show full abstract] confirm those found previously; viz., that there are more projections from the left side of the thalamus to the right hyperstriatum of the forebrain than from the right side of the thalamus to the left hyperstriatum in males and females. The organisation of the tectofugal visual projections to the rotundal nuclei was more symmetrical (males only examined) although there was a trend towards a greater number of projections from the left optic tectum to its ipsilateral nucleus rotundus than from the right optic tectum to its ipsilateral nucleus rotundus. There are numerous projections from the optic tecta to their contralateral rotundal nuclei but, in contrast to reports for the pigeon, no marked asymmetry was present in these. The ratio of contralateral to ipsilateral projections revealed significant asymmetry for projections from the ventral regions of the optic tecta and symmetry from the dorsal regions. Thus both visual pathways of the chick have asymmetrical organisation but the asymmetry is much greater in the thalamofugal pathway. The slight asymmetry in the tectofugal projections may be determined by exposing the embryo to light just before hatching, as known to be the case for thalamofugal projections.