A cross-sectional study was conducted to assess production and marketing system of Horro chicken ecotypes, and to determine poultry health and marketing constraints across different agro-ecologies of western Ethiopia. A total of 360 householders were interviewed for the survey in Horro area (western Ethiopia) where the Horro chicken ecotypes are mainly found; the sample size was determined using proportionate sampling technique. Household characteristics studied indicated that 87.45% household heads were males and about 90.32% of householders’ age group were between 20 and 60 years. Household heads whose ages lie below 20 and above 60 yrs were very small (9.68%). The low proportion of these age group might be because of the age category below 20 yrs and above 60 yrs are age groups before marriage and after retirement, respectively. The mean and standard deviation of the family size of the study area was 6.19±2.16; where a mixed crop-livestock production system was the main stay in the area. Agricultural landholding ranges between 0 and 10 hectares and per-household landholding was 1.68±1.50. The mean per household landholding in the highland agro-ecology is 2.36 ±1.59; however, the mean chicken flock size was the least. The large per household landholding at highland matches the largest mean cattle herd size (10.64 ± 4.93) as opposed to chicken flock size. This might be because of the use of cattle for cropland preparation. About 90.85% producers rear chickens for sale, which was for an immediate income generation and savings. Horro chickens in addition to low productive performance were constrained with poor housing (where only 7% of producers had separate poultry houses), insufficient feed supplement and poor health management. Chickens were exclusively scavenging for feed and about 83.82% of poultry producers interviewed responded that they were not satisfied with veterinary services delivery.
Key words: Agro-ecology, chicken-ecotypes, Ethiopia, Horro chicken, traditional-management.
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