Commercially bred chicks with maternally derived antibody to avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) were hatched in isolated conditions and a number vaccinated within the first three weeks of life with live IBV strain H120. Humoral antibody responses were assayed by haemagglutination inhibition (HI) or neutralisation (SN) tests, and the degree of protection against challenge with the virulent Massachusetts M41 strain assessed on the basis of tracheal ciliary activity four days after challenge. Maternal antibody in unvaccinated chicks declined linearly with a mean half-life of five to six days based on both HI and SN tests; these chicks were protected against challenge until four weeks old. There was complete correlation between ciliary activity and histopathological findings, but little between protection and antibody titre. It was concluded that the optimum age for primary vaccination was about two weeks.