A study was conducted in Wolaita Zone, Southern Ethiopia to assess production and reproduction performances of local chickens and their marketing practices. Three districts vize Damot-Gale, Boloso-Sore and Humbo representing, highland, midland and lowland agro-ecologies, respectively, were selected purposively. The data were collected from a total of 135 respondents, 45 from each agro-ecology, using pre-tested structured questionnaires and analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) version 20.0. There was a significant (P<0.05) difference in local flock size per household among the three agro-ecologies. The average chicken flock size per household was 6.0 heads. Clutch length, clutch number per year per hen, total number of eggs laid per hen per year, number of eggs hatched, hatchability and chick survival were significantly (P<0.05) different among the agro-ecologies. The overall average age at sexual maturity was 5.6 months (male) and 5.5 months (female) chickens, age at first egg laying was 6.5 months, number of eggs laid per clutch per hen was 14.8, clutch length was 26.0 days, clutch number per year per hen was 4.2 and mean number of eggs laid per year per hen were 59.1. The overall number of eggs placed per brooding hen was 12.8 of which 10.0 were hatched and out of which only 7.1 chickens survived. The overall hatchability was 79.1%. Marketing of live chicken and eggs were common; 69.6% of respondents sold both chicken and egg, 20% sold only eggs, 10.4% sold only chicken, 71.9% used formal market while only 8.9% used informal market to sell their products. Local chicken productivity and re-productivity are low and so, different improvement strategies should be introduced.
Key words: Agro-ecology, chicken product, improvement strategies, marketing practices.
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