Rearing of chicken plays important roles on both the rural and urban economy of Ethiopia. This study was conducted to assess urban poultry production system and productive performance of local and exotic chickens reared at Yirgalem and Hawassa towns of Southern Ethiopia. Stepwise purposive sampling method followed by random sampling was used to select the respondents. In total, 180 respondents were selected based on their experience in chicken production. The results of the study indicated that most of the respondents reared the chickens using backyard production system. Most of the respondents (77.8%) reared chicken using both free range and semi intensive management system. All the respondents provided supplementary feed, while majority of them provide water to their flock. The findings also showed only 38.3% of the respondents provided separate houses for their flock. The Major constraints in the study areas which affected the flock were diseases (Newcastle and coccidiosis), followed by adaptability especially for exotic chickens. It was concluded that the management system of chickens in the study areas were well, compared to rural management system; nonetheless it needs further work on their better health care, scientific nutrition and management. It was also observed that the contributions of the exotic chickens to the livelihood and food security of the rearers are significant.
Key words: Constraint, exotic and local chickens, Southern Ethiopia, Urban poultry production.
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