Egg Drop Syndrome – Backyard Chickens’ Health and Care

Illnesses in chickens

What is Egg Drop Syndrome?

Egg Drop Syndrome (EDS) is a viral disease that affects chickens, leading to decreased egg production and poor egg quality. Understanding the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of EDS is important for the poultry industry to minimise its impact on their flocks.

Egg Drop Syndrome Symptoms

Chickens infected with EDS may show a sudden drop in egg production, with affected hens laying soft-shelled, misshapen, and discoloured eggs. Other symptoms include respiratory distress, diarrhoea, and decreased feed intake.

Egg Drop Syndrome Causes

EDS is caused by the Aviadenovirus group II and can be transmitted through direct or indirect contact with infected birds or contaminated materials. The virus can persist in the environment for up to three weeks and can survive in eggshell membranes for several months.

Egg Drop Syndrome Diagnosis

Diagnosing EDS in chickens involves a combination of clinical signs and laboratory testing. Blood samples and swabs from the reproductive tract can be tested to confirm the presence of the virus.

Egg Drop Syndrome Treatment

There is no specific treatment for EDS, and infected birds should be isolated from the healthy ones to prevent the spread of the virus. Supportive care, such as providing additional calcium and electrolytes, can help affected hens recover.

Egg Drop Syndrome Prevention

Preventing EDS in chickens involves implementing effective biosecurity measures, such as proper cleaning and disinfection protocols, restricting access to the flock, and testing incoming flock members for the virus. Vaccines are also available to prevent EDS infections in chickens.


Egg Drop Syndrome is a viral disease that can have significant impacts on the egg production and quality of chickens. Implementing effective biosecurity measures and vaccination protocols can help prevent and manage outbreaks of this disease in chicken flocks.

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