A study was conducted to evaluate the growth performance of indigenous and Rhode Island Red (RIR) chickens under intensive management conditions for 22 weeks using standard commercial diets. Eggs from seven indigenous chicken lines were collected from the respective administrative zones in northwest Ethiopia and hatched. The experimental layout was a Completely Randomized Design (CRD) with three replications. Data on feed consumption, body weight and related parameters were recorded up to the age of 22 weeks. The mean total feed intakes at the end of the growth phase were 13799, 15162, 13438, 13249, 13813, 13356, 14112 and 12832 g for the Tilili, Gellilia, Debre-Ellias, Mello-Hamusit, Gassay, Guangua, Mecha and RIR, respectively. There was no significant difference in feed consumption among the tested chicken ecotypes. However, a significant difference was observed in the average body weight and body weight gain between the different lines. The mean body weights for Tilili, Gellilia, Debre-Ellias, Mello-Hamusit, Gassay, Guangua, Mecha and RIR were 1191, 1186, 1054, 1222, 1038, 1249, 1257 and 1394 g, respectively. Mortality from hatching to end of the growth period was higher for all the indigenous lines in comparison to the RIR. The mortality rates from day old to 22 weeks varied from 18.9% (RIR) to 82.4% (Debre-Ellias), respectively.
"Experientia docet" - Experience is the best teacher