The plasma pharmacokinetics of danofloxacin and enrofloxacin in broiler chickens was investigated following single intravenous (i.v.) or oral administration (p.o.), and the steady-state plasma and tissue concentrations of both drugs were investigated after continuous administration via the drinking water. The following dosages approved for the treatment of chickens were used: danofloxacin 5 mg/kg and enrofloxacin 10 mg/kg of body weight. Concentrations of danofloxacin and enrofloxacin including its metabolite ciprofloxacin were determined in plasma and eight tissues by specific and sensitive high performance liquid chromatography methods. Pharmacokinetic parameter values for both application routes calculated by noncompartmental methods were similar for danofloxacin compared to enrofloxacin with respect to elimination half-life (t1/2; ≈ 6–7 h), mean residence time (MRT; 6–9 h) and mean absorption time (MAT; 1.44 vs. 1.20 h). However, values were twofold higher for body clearance (ClB; 24 vs. 10 mL/min. kg) and volume of distribution at steady state (VdSS; 10 vs. 4 L/kg). Maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) after oral administration was 0.5 and 1.9 μg/mL for danofloxacin and enrofloxacin, respectively, occurring at 1.5 h for both drugs. Bioavailability (F) was high: 99% for danofloxacin and 89% for enrofloxacin. Steady-state plasma concentrations (mean ± SD) following administration via the drinking water were fourfold higher for enrofloxacin (0.52 ± 0.16 μg/mL) compared to danofloxacin (0.12 ± 0.01 μg/mL). The steady-state AUC0–24h values of 12.48 and 2.88 μg.h/mL, respectively, derived from these plasma concentrations are comparable with corresponding area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC) values after single oral administration. For both drugs, tissue concentrations markedly exceeded plasma concentrations, e.g. in the target lung, tissue concentrations of 0.31 ± 0.07 μg/g for danofloxacin and 0.88 ± 0.24 μg/g for enrofloxacin were detected. Taking into account the similar in vitro activity of danofloxacin and enrofloxacin against important pathogens in chickens, a higher therapeutic efficacy of water medication for enrofloxacin compared to danofloxacin can be expected when given at the approved dosages.