The present report documents an outbreak of adenoviral gizzard erosion in 22 broiler flocks in Germany. The clinical picture was characterized by uneven growth of affected broilers that resulted in considerably lower than average weight at slaughtering. Fowl adenovirus serotype 1 (FAdV-1) was isolated from gizzard lesions and histological examinations demonstrated FAdV-1-positive intranuclear inclusion bodies in gizzard epithelial cells of affected broilers by in-situ hybridization. Birds from all affected flocks originated from one broiler breeder farm. During production of affected birds, broiler breeders were between 27 and 32 weeks old. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and specific virus neutralization assay of sera from parent birds demonstrated an acute FAdV-1 infection within the first 5 weeks of the production cycle. Clinically, broiler breeders exhibited a moderate fall in the hatchability of their chicks, while egg production remained normal. No further clinical signs could be observed. Genetically identical FAdV-1 strains were isolated from gizzards of embryos at the lowest point of hatchability and from affected broiler flocks raised on independent farms. For the first time, direct detection of viable FAdV-1 from gizzards of embryos and progenies of one FAdV-1-seropositive broiler breeder farm in the course of an outbreak of adenoviral gizzard erosion could be demonstrated, highlighting the importance of vertical transmission of this disease. Additionally, growth retardation and subsequent reduced average weight at the time of slaughter of broiler chickens underline the economic impact of adenoviral gizzard erosion for poultry production.