Survey on Indigenous Chicken Production and Utilization Systems in Southern Zone of Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Hailemichael Nigussie, Kefelegn Kebede, Negassi Ameha


The survey was carried out in southern zone of Tigray to generate information on village based indigenous chicken production and utilization system. The results of the study showed that the dominant chicken production system of the study area was a backyard extensive system using majority of indigenous chicken (92.67%) managed mainly on scavenging with conditional feed supplementation. The mean chicken flock size per household of the study area was 7.91±0.4 chickens. The survey indicated that almost all farmers provided night shelter for their chickens. Broody hens were the sole means of egg incubation and chick brooding in the study area. The result also showed that the average age of male at firs mating and female at first egg were 6.23±0.06 and 6.74±0.05 months, respectively. The number of clutch per hen per year, eggs per clutch and total eggs produced per hen per year were 4.25±0.07, 14.9±0.32 and 63.2±1.75 eggs, respectively. The hatchability and survival rate of chicks were 84.22% and 58.71%. Most chicken keepers in the study area had the tradition of selecting chicken for replacement stock. Body size, plumage color, body conformation, comb type, egg production performance and responsiveness to predators were the major means of selection. Chicken diseases and predators were considered to be the largest threat to village chicken production. The survey indicated low productivity of indigenous chickens; hence appropriate interventions particularly on the improvement of breed, health care, housing, and feeding are required. Therefore, efforts need to be made to improve the productivity of village chickens in sustainable way through a holistic approach in services like health, husbandry, research, extension, training and credit interventions.

Keywords: Chicken disease, indigenous chicken, predators, productivity, scavenging

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ISSN (Paper)2224-6088 ISSN (Online)2225-0557

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