A crossover study design was used to investigate the dose-related effects of sevoflurane at end-tidal concentrations of 2.2 to 4.4 per cent on the respiratory rate, blood gases, heart rate, arterial blood pressure and ocular signs of chickens during spontaneous and controlled ventilation. The mean (sd) carbon dioxide partial pressure (PaCO2) increased as the concentration of sevoflurane increased, and was 86 (29) mmHg at an end-tidal concentration of 4.4 per cent during spontaneous ventilation, but was maintained between 29 and 42 mmHg during controlled ventilation. The heart rate increased as the concentration of sevoflurane increased during spontaneous ventilation, but did not change during controlled ventilation. Sevoflurane decreased arterial blood pressure during both spontaneous and controlled ventilation, but a dosedependent decrease in arterial blood pressure was observed only during controlled ventilation. The mean arterial blood pressure at an end-tidal concentration of 4.4 per cent was significantly higher during spontaneous ventilation than during controlled ventilation. Controlled ventilation prevented the increases in PaCO2 and heart rate that were observed during spontaneous ventilation. The decrease in arterial blood pressure during spontaneous ventilation was less than that during controlled ventilation, possibly owing to the effects of hypercapnia.