The study was conducted in Adami Tulu Jidokombolcha, Bora, Dodola, Shala and Negele-Arsi districts with objective to assess cattle breeding practices and rate of inbreeding. Two hundred forty respondents were identified using random sampling techniques. The study result indicated that farmers traditionally use name and ear cutting to identify their local cattle. Body size was ranked as primary selection criteria of bulls while reproductive fitness and milk yield traits were primordial selection criteria for cows. Many of the respondent rear bulls for draught purpose, where as few of them rear for breeding only.The study indicated that breeding was mostly panmectic as most of the bulls were owned communally. The finding results showed that most of the respondents do not know ill effect of inbreeding. Most of the respondents practiced culling of unproductive cattle. Poor reproductive fitness and milk yield were frequently used as primary culling criteria for cows, while poor draft power and old age were ranked as prime culling criteria for male cattle. The information generated on farmers breeding practice should be used as baseline for future cattle breeding improvement strategy in the studied and similar areas.
Keywords: Cattle breeding practice, cattle identification, rate of inbreeding, animal selection criteria