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"This is going to be the most intriguing poultry facility in the world."


Koen Vanmechelen.

Breeding and Research facility

Incubated Worlds is an advanced poultry research project, breeding facility and art installation in Ethiopia emerged from the the African Chicken Genetics Gains project, lead by ILRI and is funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; the Roslin Institute, which is part of the Royal School of Veterinary Studies of the University of Edinburgh; and the MOUTH Foundation.
The project illustrates how chicken diversity can improve the livelihoods and nutritional outcomes of women and men, smallholder farmers.

In preparation for the Incubated Worlds installation, ILRI livestock geneticists Tadelle Dessie and Olivier Hanotte worked with the EIAR to import and hatch several of Vanmechelen’s Cosmopolitan Chickens. These chickens will be crossed with indigenous breeds of chickens preferred by farmers in Ethiopia to create what Vanmechelen and his scientist partners are calling the Ethiopian African Planetary Community Chicken. Crossbreeding enriches the diversity of the local flock, helping strengthen poultry resilience and local food systems. This approach seeks to to broaden, replenish and conserve the genetic base of Ethiopian chickens.



“What we ultimately want through Incubated Worlds are chickens that have the genetic diversity they need both to survive devastating poultry diseases and to adapt to a changing climate all while still producing a lot of food for farmers,”


“Every generation of his chickens seems to be healthier than the last, but they haven’t been selected for productivity. Our challenge is now to incorporate this diversity in a chicken for Ethiopians that is also very productive.”

TADELLE DESSIE, Project Director,

African Chicken Genetics Gains project

OLIVIER HANOTTE, Scientific Advisor,

African Chicken Genetics Gains project

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