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Ancona Cockerel

Speckled Sussex Hen eating a TurnipInfectious Bronchitis (IB)

An acute highly contagious viral respiratory disease of chickens. Virus is classified as coronavirus.

This is a disease of chickens only and all chickens are susceptible unless they have been vaccinated. Recovered birds are immune for several months.

This disease is considered the most contagious poultry disease known. The disease is spread by air, feed bags, infected dead birds, infected houses, and rodents.

Infected birds excrete the virus in the feces for several weeks following clinical recovery. Clinical signs are rapid onset and rapid spreading, infection 100% of the flock.

The severity is influenced by age and immune status of flock and general health. Feed and water consumption declines, chilling, chirping, watery discharge in eyes and nostrils, laboured breathing with some gasping in young chicks.

Egg production drops to half, no nervous symptoms as with ND. Lesions are primarily in the respiratory tract, infected embryos die before hatching. Primary lesions in young birds are conjunctivitis (eye inflammation) followed soon by nasal discharge, and cheesy exudates in the trachea (windpipe). Birds become asphyxiated due to the lug of exudate in the trachea.

There is no specific treatment, though antibiotics are run for 3-5 days and may aid in combating secondary bacterial infections. Increase room temps and provide good hygiene management.

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