This study is conducted in Dedo Woreda of Jimma Zone with the objective of characterizing village chicken production and marketing systems.Three different agro-ecologies (high, mid and lowlands) of the Woreda were purposively selected based on poultry population and accessibility of infrastructure. Stratified probability random sampling method was followed to select two peasant associations (PA) from each of the three agro-ecology and 30 households from each of the six PAs. Thus, a total of 180 (6x30) households (hh) were used to carry out the survey on management practices, marketing system and production performance of village chickens. Eggs collected from the different altitudes were for quality, hatchability and chick performance. The results showed that the major scavenging poultry in Dedo woreda was 88.3% cereal grains. The result of the supplementary feed analysis revealed that 70.6% of the respondents said to have provided separate poultry house during night times. The 45, 23.3, 15 and12.8 of the respondents indicated that Coccidiosis, Cholera, Infectious bronchitis and newcastle disease, as economically important poultry disease with frequent outbreak in the study area. About 49.2% of the respondents indicated that wild Egyptian Vulture was dangerous predator attacking young chicks. About 96.1% of the chicken found in the study area belongs to the non-descriptive indigenous chickens. The annual income from the sale of poultry and poultry products in the study area was Birr 335/hh. 47.8% of the respondents reported to have access to the extension service of the Woreda. About 78 % of the respondents reported to attain annual egg production level of 35-62 from indigenous hen with an estimated hatchability of 20.8%, with the use of natural incubation. About 95% of the respondents indicated that women and children are responsible for the management and marketing of chickens. This study showed that eggs collected from Dedo Woreda were poor in most of the egg quality parameters. The growth performance and survival rate of chicks hatched from eggs collected from Dedo Woreda were also found to be poor. Appropriate intervention in health care and control of predators and Provision of better extension service, credit schemes and training opportunities tends to result in increased productivity of village poultry in the Dedo Wereda. Further investigation into the constraints and potential of indigenous chicken based village poultry seems to be the future direction of research in Dedo Wereda.
Keywords: Village chicken, Egg quality, productive and reproductive performance