Genetic improvement in indigenous chicken of Ethiopia


Genetic improvement in indigenous chicken of Ethiopia

Promovendus WE (Wondmeneh) Woldegiorgiss
Promotor JAM (Johan) van Arendonk
Copromotor dr ir EH van der Waaij
dr T Dessie
Organisatie Wageningen University, Animal Breeding and Genetics

wo 3 juni 2015 16:00 tot 17:30

Locatie Auditorium, building number 362
Generaal Foulkesweg 1
6703 BG Wageningen


The Major problems in poultry production systems in Ethiopia are disease, low nutrition, poor management, and poor genetic performance. One way of improving production level is by genetic selection. In this study, an ongoing selective breeding program was evaluated to examine changes in terms of productivity (egg and growth) and survival along with natural antibody levels in the generation 7 chickens. Additionally, factors that determine adoption and intensity of exotic chicken breeds were studies. Generation 7 improved chickens were used along with other interventions (feed, vaccination, housing) to examine the impacts of these interventions on the productivity and profitability using simulation models. The findings showed that short term mass selection was successful in bringing significant change. The selection has changed the performance levels and survival in the selected group of chickens. Some income related factors were found to affect the adoption and intensity of exotic chickens by rural farmers, and inputs or increased productivity but were only profitable in few cases.


  1. Higher productivity does not always mean higher income. (this thesis)
  2. As opposed to commercial poultry breeds, an increase in the levels of NAb to keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) in indigenous chickens is associated with increased risk of mortality. (this thesis)   
  3. Also less sophisticated breeding schemes can bring significant change.
  4. Research activities in developing countries should also be evaluated on their impact on the livelihood of people.
  5. Solving one problem and producing more new questions does not help the credibility of science.
  6. Village poultry production systems will remain important for many years to come.