Indigenous chickens (IC) contribute socioeconomically to household food security in the region of East Africa. However, their potential and improvement are not well documented. This review is aimed at exploring the production and potential of indigenous chickens in East Africa. The various tools for literature search such as google search and Google scholars, agricultural journals, animal sciences and health journals, poultry related journals, and country online databases were used to gather information. IC were primarily reared by women and were kept predominantly under scavenging systems where the conditions of management (feeding, housing, and health care) are poor. They presented a high variation in their reproduction and production characteristics. The products (meat and eggs) were of good quality and preferred by the local consumers. Despite the variation and potential of IC, improvements in the village system were constrained by diseases and loss due to Newcastle, Gumboro, and Ecto-endo parasites and predators. Farmers primarily used traditional methods to control the diseases, and some used conventional medications and vaccines. Due to the potential of IC, the exploration of various strategies for improvement supported by the details of their genetic variability and adaptation as well as different management conditions was a goal of this review. All rights reserved, Elsevier.