Teka Tadesse, Abeba Dancho, Feleke Assefa
The study was conducted to identify the challenges and opportunities of backyard poultry production in Arbegona Woreda, Sidama Zone. Both primary data via structured questionnaire and secondary data from different relevant offices, published and unpublished sources were gathered using 120 statistically selected households. To enrich the data, field observations and group discussions were also made. The result of the study indicated that the dominant flock structure in the study area is laying hens (42.4%) followed by pullets (19.1%). Hatching egg naturally at home (50%) and purchasing from market (45%) are the main flock sources of poultry as responded by the households. The result also indicated that 95% of the breeds in the study area are local breeds indicating use of hybrid and exotic breeds is less common probably because of lack of awareness. The main purpose of keeping poultry and egg is for selling (50% & 40% respectively) followed by egg for incubation (31.7%) and birds for reproduction (30%). Majority of the farmers (78.3%) use traditional medicine to treat chickens using local herbs when the flock get diseased. Birds reach first egg laying at 7 month of age as 60% of the respondents reported. Majority of the respondents identified predator with an index value of 0.218 as their major constraint affecting poultry productivity followed by flock mortality, disease and low production with the index values of 0.178, 0.158 and 0.141 respectively. The major opportunities of village chicken production in the study area were market availability followed by feed access, credit service and extension according to their order of importance.
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