A study was conducted on 37 randomly selected broiler poultry farmers in Rwanda to characterize the production system using pre-tested semi-structured questionnaires. The data were processed in SPSS and presented as means, percentages and ranges in tables and text. All respondents kept Cobb breed and young stock was mainly (73 %) imported from abroad. The majority of respondents were males (68 %) and most farmers had attended only primary level of education (40.5 %). Most of the farms were in the peri-urban (48.6 %) and urban (37.8 %) areas and hired male youth (62.2 %) mainly aged 19–35 years. The majority of respondents (68 %) kept less than 500 birds per batch. Recordkeeping was well practiced (91.9 %) and (62.6 %) had permanent poultry houses and all farmers used deep litter system. Purchased feedstuffs were reportedly (92 %) mixed at farm level as the main feed resource. Maize bran was reported (97.06 %) the main, basal feedstuff. The mortality rates of chick and growers were 12.3 and 9.4 %, respectively. The slaughter age was reportedly 60 days with an average dressing percentage of 75.67 %. The main challenges reported were scarcity and unaffordability of quality feeds (59.5 %), lack of market access (45 %) and lack of credit (21 %). The farmers had various views on improving broiler production in Rwanda ranging from establishing feed processing industries 62.2 %, improving marketing facilities 35.1 %, increasing availability of day-old chick and access credit 27 %, to intensification of farmer training 16.2 %.