In this review, the production of poultry in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) is described. Data from field observations, published works, government and other documents are presented. Some 95% of poultry, which in Ethiopia are overwhelmingly domestic fowl, are kept in villages, mainly under scavenging, systems, and only 5% are in industrial systems. Poultry are kept by about 60% of households. Most households in the highlands keep birds whereas far fewer do so in the pastoral lowlands. ‘Average’ households own a flock comprising 6-10 birds, and genetic resources are almost entirely indigenous in the scavenging system. National poultry meat production is of the order of 76,000 tonnes and egg production approaches 80,000 tonnes. Annual production per bird is 55-80 eggs for scavenging fowl, of which about half are used for replacement and the remainder for consumption and sale. Disease is an important constraint to production. More attention should be given to smallholder producers, as this, together with interventions in housing, sanitation, nutrition and disease control would greatly increase output and have a positive impact on human health and nutrition. Smallholder producers would be the principal beneficiaries of these interventions in improvements to food security and nutritional status and in reduced production risk.