This study was conducted in Hadiya Zone of
Southern region, Ethiopia with an objective to assess the
breeding practices and performance of the local chicken
populations in the study area. Multi-stage sampling
method was used for selecting the study districts and
participants based on the potential of the poultry genetic
resources and accessibility towards the research sites.
Among purposively identified local owners, a total of 180
households having chickens (90 from each district) were
randomly selected for interview. Both primary and
secondary data were collected during the survey.
Majority of the farmers respond as they were culling
their chickens for different reasons. Among them the
higher proportion of the farmers in the study area had
given the response as they were culling their chickens for
poor production followed by culling for health status. In
case of brooding, for majority of the respondents the
strong broody behavior of the chickens was considered as
a selection criteria followed by moderately broody
behavior. Some others preferred criteria like mothering
ability of the hens, growth rate, safeguard and body size
of the chicks. Mean egg production/clutch in this study
was 10.73eggs/hen. The average clutch number of the
indigenous chicken was 3.72/year. Local chickens are well
adapted to the tropics, resistant to poor management,
feed shortages, tolerate to diseases and provide better test
of meat and eggs than exotic chicken. However, they are
poor in performance in terms of sexual maturity, egg size,
growth rate, clutch size and hatchability. So, it is better to
give emphasis for their management in order to get
relevant production from local chickens.
Keywords : Breeding Practices, Local Chickens, Performance .