Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences

Poultry, Fisheries & Wildlife Sciences
Open Access

ISSN: 2375-446X



Indigenous Chicken Production System and Breeding Practice in Southern Tigray, North Ethiopia

Gebremariam B, Mazengia H and Gebremariam T

Village chicken production plays crucial role in improving the livelihood of smallholder farmers. A study was conducted in southern Tigray, North Ethiopia with the aim to generate data on indigenous chicken production system and breeding practice. The generated data could be potentially used in the chicken selection, improvement program and strategy under typical farmers’ management condition. To address the study objective, semi-structured questionnaires, participatory rural appraisal (PRA) and field observations were employed. A multi-stage sampling procedure was employed to select study sites and respondents. First the study area was stratified into three agroecological zones (highland, midland and lowland) based on altitude. About 180 chicken producers (60 from each agro-ecology) were involved in the individual household survey. Descriptive statistics and General Linear Model (GLM) of SPSS version 20 (2011) were used to analyze the data. It was found that the indigenous chicken production system is characterized with backyard scavenging (100%) with seasonal supplementation of feed (100%). The average chicken holding per households was 24.31 ± 1.21 with 57% exotic, 37% local and 6% crossbred. Farmers rank body weight, conformation, plumage color and comb type as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively as trait for chicken selection. Newcastle disease (Locally called fengil) is the most important disease in the areas. Farmers dominantly use traditional medications (ethno-veterinary treatment) to address the diseases problem. Access to health extension service is very limited. The local chickens are valued for majority of important adaptive and economically important traits. The trend in introducing, dissemination and crossbreeding activities are increasing form to time. Awareness should be created on chicken production and management, immunization programs, risk and preventive measures on exposure of chickens to disease and predators as well as breeding practice.