In the present study, inclusion body hepatitis (IBH) was experimentally induced by oral inoculation of two groups of specific pathogen-free (SPF) broilers and two groups of SPF layers at day-old with either a fowl aviadenovirus (FAdV)-D or a FAdV-E strain. A substantial variation in the degree of susceptibility was observed with mortalities of 100 and 96% in the FAdV-E and D infected SPF broiler groups, respectively, whereas in the groups of infected SPF layers mortalities of only 20 and 8% were noticed. Significant changes in clinical chemistry analytes of all infected birds together with histopathological lesions indicated impairment of liver and pancreas integrity and functions. Furthermore, significantly lower blood glucose concentrations were recorded at peak of infection in both inoculated SPF broiler groups, in comparison to the control group, corresponding to a hypoglycaemic status. High viral loads were determined in liver and pancreas of SPF broilers already at 4 days post-infection (dpi), in comparison to SPF layers, indicating a somewhat faster viral replication in the target organs. Overall, highest values were noticed in the pancreas of SPF broilers independent of the virus used for infection. The actual study provides new insights into the pathogenesis of IBH, a disease evolving to a metabolic disorder, to which SPF broilers were highly susceptible. Hence, this is the first study to report a significant higher susceptibility of SPF broiler chickens to experimentally induced IBH in direct comparison to SPF layers.