This study aimed to integrate participatory-, survey- and model-based approaches to socio-technical analysis and mutual farmer-researcher learning about constraints to and opportunities for village poultry development in Ethiopia. It applied a combined technography and systems approach as an input in analyzing possibilities for poultry development in terms of context-mechanism-outcome.It used as data collection methods individual and open-group interviews, a cross-sectional stratified random survey, farm-recording, a market survey, and village-poultry modelling. Feed-back workshops were organised to share between farmers and researchers the data collected through farm-recording and simulation scenarios for identifying improvement options of village poultry systems. The study indicated through the combination of multiple approaches and methods researchers can arrive at better understanding of constraints affecting farmers’ reality. Village poultry research and development are not only about finding technical solutions but also involve addressing household livelihoods,and institutional and policy issues from a social science perspective.