Quail Bronchitis

Small and Backyard Flocks May 05, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Written by: Dr. Jacquie Jacob, University of Kentucky

Quail bronchitis is caused by adenovirus. This disease affects bobwhite quail, but Japanese Coturnix quail are resistant. Quail bronchitis occurs most frequently in the southern states where bobwhite quail are commonly raised for release in hunting preserves. Once quail have contracted the virus, the flock remains infected for the rest of the breeding season, with each successive hatch becoming infected.

Clinical Signs 

Quails infected with bronchitis exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Unthriftiness
  • Discharge from the nostrils and eyes
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • Droopy wings
  • Increased respiratory sounds


There is no specific treatment for quail bronchitis. Cases of quail bronchitis are often complicated by secondary infections, especially mycoplasmal bacteria infection. Antibiotics can be used to combat secondary infections. 

Prevention and Control

There are no vaccinations for quail bronchitis. Implementing and maintaining an effective biosecurity plan are critical to preventing the disease. When infection occurs, it is necessary to break the cycle of disease by killing all the birds and thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting pens and equipment. The facilities should remain empty for 30 to 90 days.

For More Information

A review of quail bronchitis. S.W. Jack and W.M. Reed, Purdue University.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.