Carmen appears recovered - what's next?


Nov 25, 2015
So I think my hen Carmen has recovered from her respiratory illness. She became ill 8 days ago, with injection antibiodics started within 24 hours. She had Tylan 50 for a course of 5 days. At day four of treatment, she really had turned around - and I was reluctant to give her a last and final dose of Tylan, but I went ahead and gave it to her, basically because I didn't know what the best course of action was.

So she appears recovered. NO SYMPTOMS and acting normal x 3 days.

When is it safe for her to be around a mild-tempered silkie rooster, who will now be her new roomie. When is it possible for me to stop seeing her last, since she is still considered "contagious" until I hear otherwise? I want to get her back into a normal routine, as she is a two year old laying hen, that hasn't laid since she was sick - and now I get concerned that she will become impacted with eggs or develop a new health issue because she isn't laying like she would normally. She doesn't appear to be in a molt - still has all the feathers she had when she came down sick. Since it has been sunny the last two days, she has been put outside, in her very small crate for a couple of hours, more or less away from the others. The rest of the time she is locked away in a closet with a light and can move about.

Sorry if this is a question that has been addressed before, but I really have tried to find out on BYC the answers to my questions - but it seems all the posts are about sick chickens or how to re-introduce chickens, but I can't find out anything about when she is considered ok to go back with/around the others. No one else developed an issue, but I am keeping a constant check on this.


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Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
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Like most bacterial infections, a bird is contagious before there are any symptoms and a few days into the illness if medications are being administered. So at this point she is probably not contagious. BUT....things in your coop can still have the bacteria on them...feeders, waterers, etc... So you will want to disinfect all surfaces in the coop in case the bacteria is laying in wait for it's next victim. After doing this, I would say it is safe to get her back to your flock.

As for your rooster, the correct ratio of rooster to hen is 1 roo to 8 to 10 hens. Any less and the rooster will over mate 1 or a couple of hens. This will cause huge stress on their bodies, immune systems and hens can die from over mating. If you don't have any more birds to put with your rooster, then I would only keep him with her for a couple of hours or less a day so she doesn't become over mated by him. Maybe only mix the two birds twice a week or something like this.

Good luck! I am happy to hear you were able to get your hen back on her feet! :)

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