Infectious Bronchitis – Backyard Chickens’ Health and Care

Illnesses in chickens

What is Infectious Bronchitis?

Infectious Bronchitis (IB) is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease that affects chickens worldwide. The disease is caused by a coronavirus and can cause severe respiratory symptoms, decreased egg production, and high mortality rates in affected birds.

Infectious Bronchitis Symptoms

The symptoms of Infectious Bronchitis can vary depending on the severity of the infection, but the disease is generally characterised by the following symptoms:

• Sneezing, coughing, and nasal discharge
• Difficulty breathing and gasping
• Watery eyes and conjunctivitis
• Reduced egg production or poor egg quality
• Depression, lethargy, and loss of appetite

Infectious Bronchitis Causes

Infectious Bronchitis is caused by a coronavirus that is highly contagious and can be transmitted through contact with infected birds, their poop, or contaminated equipment. The virus can also be spread through the air, making it easy to infect an entire flock.

Infectious Bronchitis Diagnosis

Diagnosing Infectious Bronchitis can be challenging, as the symptoms can be similar to other poultry diseases. A veterinarian specialising in poultry health can help to diagnose the disease through a combination of clinical signs, laboratory tests, and post-mortem examinations.

Infectious Bronchitis Treatment

There is no specific treatment for Infectious Bronchitis, and affected birds typically recover on their own within a few weeks to a few months. Supportive care such as providing a clean, warm, and dry environment with access to food and water can help affected birds recover more quickly. In severe cases, antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent secondary bacterial infections.

Infectious Bronchitis Prevention

Preventing Infectious Bronchitis is important for maintaining the health and productivity of your flock. The following measures can help prevent the spread of Infectious Bronchitis:

• Practice good biosecurity by preventing contact with other flocks and wild birds, and disinfecting equipment and surfaces regularly
• Vaccinate your hens against Infectious Bronchitis, which can help prevent the spread of the disease
• Provide a clean and well-ventilated living environment for your birds, with plenty of space to move around
• Provide a well-balanced and nutritious diet, with access to clean water at all times
• Monitor your birds for any signs of illness, and isolate any sick birds to prevent the spread of disease


Infectious Bronchitis is a highly contagious viral respiratory disease that can have a negative impact on the health and productivity of your flock. Practicing good biosecurity, vaccinating your birds, and providing a clean and healthy living environment can help prevent the spread of Infectious Bronchitis and other poultry diseases. If you suspect that your birds may be infected with Infectious Bronchitis or any other illness, seek the advice of a veterinarian who specialises in poultry health.

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