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Indigenous chickens in Ethiopia: genetic potential and attempts at improvement

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2007

D. Tadelle
Humboldt University of Berlin, Animal Breeding for Tropics and Sub-Tropics, Philippstrasse 13, Haus 9,10115 Berlin, Germany
Y. Alemu
Debre Zeit Agriculture Research Centre, P.O. Box 32, Alemaya University of Agriculture, Debre Zeit, Ethiopia
K.J. Peters
Humboldt University of Berlin, Animal Breeding for Tropics and Sub-Tropics, Philippstrasse 13, Haus 9,10115 Berlin, Germany
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This paper describes the rural poultry production system and the role of scavenging chickens in the rural household economy of Ethiopia. Past attempts that have been made to improve the production and productivity of local birds through upgrading (distribution of exotic birds) and cross breeding in Ethiopia are assessed. The merits and demerits of the different ecotypes of indigenous chicken and their crosses are discussed. The current significance and future role of indigenous birds in the face of extensive importation of exotic birds are appraised. Finally, future areas for research on indigenous chickens are identified in terms of the development of a sensible conservation programme and the utilisation of local chickens as genetic resources.

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2000

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