Broiler chicken production is an important livelihood option for urban households in Zimbabwe. A study was carried out to document the technical, demographic and socio-economic parameters characterising the production of broilers in an urban area of Zimbabwe. Findings showed that producers have quite diverse livelihoods and broiler production is not restricted to a survival strategy for the urban poor with no livelihood alternatives, but mostly involved the more privileged. Access to start-up capital and property ownership were pre-requisites for the business. Broiler units were small-scale, informal, backyard businesses dominated by women. Flock sizes averaged 398 (range 25–3500) birds per cycle. However, 79% of the producers kept at most 200 birds per cycle. The mean stocking density was 9.5 birds/m2 and reported mortality averaged 7.4%. Respondents have ad hoc marketing arrangements, and face constraints with regard to lack of sectoral support, shortage of capital, prohibitive council by-laws, market access and disease. Poultry production is therefore an important livelihood and business option in the urban and peri-urban area studied.