Managing/curing infectious bronchitis?????


In the Brooder
Jun 12, 2017
Hello! I've been an onlooker for a while now and finally decided to join as I need to glean from your wisdom! Please bare with me for a second as I try to give the readers digest version of the story:
I had never had any of my chickens ever be sick for any reason. In December I purchased a young rooster and 2 hens, I kept them "quarantined" as best I could. They were in a completely separate area of the property and had no contact with my already existing flock. After a few weeks they started showing various respiratory illness symptoms and luckily the breeder took them back and gave me a refund. Its been over 6 months and none of my other birds had shown any symptoms of illness whatsoever. A couple of weeks ago I noticed my rooster started acting lethargic and was dead by the morning (no symptoms other than having been lethargic the evening before). I took him to the UC Davis extension for a necropsy, she is still waiting for one more test to come back to confirm but from the preliminary work she's pretty sure it was infectious bronchitis. Even now none of my other birds have shown any symptoms and no one else has died. The only thing I would add to that is that when I researched IB I saw an article talking about "wrinkly" eggs being a sign of IB and I do have one hen that will usually lay eggs with odd wrinkly looking shells but I had always just thought that was her.
So with all that being said my main question is, what the heck should I do?! Is there anyway to manage or eradicate this without culling everyone? I've seen articles recommend antibiotics for active infections and I've also seen that there is an IB vaccine. Will either antibiotics or vaccinating everyone help my situation? I just had chicks hatch in the incubator which I had intended to sell but I obviously can't sell them in good conscience if there's a chance that they could bring a disease into someone else's flock. Will the chicks who hatched in the incubator and have only stayed in the house also be carriers? Should I vaccinate them? Any additional information you can add would be beneficial.
I have a bunch of young hens out there right now that haven't even started laying yet and I would really hate for this to affect my whole flocks productivity and safety.


Dreaming of Spring Flowers
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jul 16, 2015
I actually don't worry too much. I no longer bring home anytime except chicks, and I get mine from a hatchery to risk introducing nasty stuff. I learned my lesson years ago with swap meet birds.

I've had birds I've culled due to respiratory infections, they have always been self limited. I never tested any bird. Wild birds can bring in stuff, so chickens are always at risk for being infected by stuff. Most healthy, properly kept birds have healthy immune systems that fight things off.

I personally wouldn't worry too much. What has been done can't be changed. Focus on keeping them in a healthy environment, keep stressors low, limit your sources for new stock, and cull sick birds to have a healthy of flock as possible.

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