Gizzard erosion in broiler chickens was investigated at 18 slaughterhouses in Japan. The condition was observed in 13 of them, and adenoviral gizzard erosion (AGE) was diagnosed histologically, immunohistochemically and virologically in the eroded gizzards from nine of these 13. The antigen-positive intranuclear inclusion body of group 1 fowl adenovirus was observed in the epithelial cells of the affected gizzards, and fowl adenoviruses were isolated from the lesions. In two of the slaughterhouses the total weights of the gizzards disposed of in three years were 3590 kg (0.40 per cent of the gizzards inspected) and 2880 kg (0.19 per cent). Sixteen of the 19 outbreaks of gizzard erosion on 15 farms that were confirmed in three of the slaughterhouses, including the previous two slaughterhouses, were diagnosed as AGE, and the condition was suspected in the other three outbreaks. Most of the adenoviruses isolated were identified as serotype-1 by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism. No apparent clinical signs were observed in any of the affected flocks.