Diseases are among the greatest challenges to the rural poultry sector in sub-Saharan Africa. The lack of a sustainable poultry disease surveillance system and the possible existence of communities and occasions where the interaction between birds is high present an opportunity for targeted surveillance of poultry diseases in these regions. However, the establishment of such a system requires adequate knowledge of the sector in the targeted area. Zambia is an example of a developing country located in the tropics that faces the challenge of frequent poultry disease outbreaks. Consequently, an interview-based survey to study the poultry sector's market chain and social networks was conducted in Eastern Zambia to derive information required for configuring targeted surveillance. This survey involved a poultry value chain analysis that also included an assessment of trading practices to identify biosecurity hot spots within the chain that could be targeted for disease surveillance. A social network analysis of poultry movement within Eastern Zambia was also conducted using whole-network analysis and ego network analysis to identify poultry trade hubs that could be targeted for poultry disease surveillance based on their centrality within the network and their size and influence within their ego networks. Rural farmers, middlemen and market traders were identified as biosecurity risk hot spots whose poultry and utensils could be targeted for disease surveillance within the value chain. Furthermore, social network analysis identified four districts as poultry trade hubs that could be targeted for disease surveillance. This study is the first to formally describe poultry movement networks within Zambia and the surrounding region. Its findings provide data required to implement targeted surveillance in regions where resources are either inadequate or non-existent, and the results provide a deeper understanding of the cultural and practical constraints that influence trade in developing countries.