Economic consequences of Infectious Bronchitis (IB)

Infectious Bronchitis infection affects the growth rate of broilers and affects egg production in layers and breeders.

Broilers

Broilers may perform badly due to poor feed conversion and reduced weight gain. Secondary infections with bacteria, such as E. coli or O. rhinotracheale may bring about increased condemnation at the processing plant, especially when infection occurs in the last weeks prior to slaughter.

Layers and breeders

Besides causing respiratory signs IB infection can also affect egg production. In future layers and breeders, infected in the first few days of life with a very virulent IB virus, permanent damage in the oviduct may occur. These birds may mature like normal hens but produce no eggs. These so-called false layers have in the meantime consumed their full share of the investment in food and housing without any return.

When infections occur during lay, economic losses are due to drops in production and poor quality eggs. Production often does not return to pre-infection levels. In breeders the hatchability rate may also be negatively affected.