Infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) replicates in the epithelial cells of trachea and lungs of chicken, however the mechanism of generation of innate immune response against IBV infection in these tissues has not been fully characterized. Our objective was to study innate responses induced early following IBV infection in chickens. Initiation of the transcription of selected innate immune genes such as TLR3, TLR7, MyD88, IL-1β and IFN-β, as well as recruitment of macrophages, were evident following an initial down regulation of some of the observed genes (TLR3, IL-1β, and IFN-γ) in trachea and lung. This initial down-regulation followed by the induction of innate immune response to IBV infection appears to be inadequate for the control of IBV genome accumulation and consequent histopathological changes in these tissues. Potential induction of innate immunity before infection occurs may be necessary to reduce the consequences since vaccine induced immunity is slow to develop.