Indigenous Chicken Production System and Breeding Practice in North Wollo, Amhara Region, Ethiopia
Production system and breeding practice of indigenous chicken in North Wollo has been conducted from January 2011 to June 2012 with objectives of characterizing the production system and breeding practice, farmer trait preferences. Simultaneously, identification of development intervention for improved utilization of chicken genetic resources was also identified. In the first part of data collection, one focused group discussion per agroecological zones was held. Then, administration of well-structured questionnaire on 306 respondents was employed. The questionnaire data was analyzed by using frequency count of SAS 2002. The predominant production system in the study area was Free-range scavenging with seasonal supplementary. The critical constraints of scavenging chicken production were disease (60.13%) predators (20.59%) and feed shortage (19.28%). Cross breeding (80.0%) and line breeding (20.0%) were practice of farmers for improvement of their chicken productivity. Number of egg lay/clutch (37.91%) and plumage colour (37.58%) were the major preferred trait by the farmers in the study area. The overall age at sexual maturity for male and female was 24.25 ± 0.04 and 23.84 ± 0.05 weeks respectively. There was highly significant difference (p<0.0001) in egg production/hen/clutch across altitudes. In general in low input and high environmental stressed with poor infrastructure, traditional breeding program would be recommended. READ..