Accepted 20th December, 2017.
The study was carried out in Damboya Woreda, Kembata Tembaro Zone, Southern Ethiopia. The objective of the study was to assess the production and constraints of Rhode Island Red (RIR) chicken poultry breeds. The study was carried out by preparing semi structured questionnaire to collect data on poultry production systems, feeding system, flock size, housing and major constraints. Data were collected randomly from 90 households. Secondary data were also collected from the government and non-government office center. The collected data was analyzed by using descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentage. The majority of respondents (72.2%) were Protestant whereas 17.8% and 10% were Muslim and Orthodox religion followers respectively. Out of the interviewed respondents 42% were males and the rest (58%) were females. The dominant RIR chicken production system was extensive (54.5%) followed by semi-intensive (35.5%) and intensive (10%) in the study area. All the respondents provide house for poultry either in separated or non-separated houses. Layers were the dominant flocks (43.6%) as compared to pullets and cockerel. The major source of feed for RIR chicken was cereal crops and 52.3% of the respondents provide supplementary feeds twice a day. All of the respondents provide supplementary feed from which 52.3% of respondents supply feed in addition to scavenging twice a day either early in the morning and late in the evening. However, 25.5% fed once a day in addition to scavenging system whereas 22.2% feed three times a day. The main constraints affecting the Rhode Island Red chicken breed productivity in the study area were feed shortage, predators and disease. Therefore, improving production and management system such as feeding, housing, overall management system of RIR chicken on the farmers’ level, providing sustainable training is the most crucial point to improve the livelihood of the farmers as well as national income of the country.
Keywords: Rhode Island Red, Flock size, Households, Feeding, Poultry, Productivity, Management, Semi-intensive.