Preventative Measures against the ILT VirusSo far we have begun with reinstating the heat lamp back into the sleeping hutch at the end of each day. As soon as the night time temperature dropped to under 16/ 17 degrees Centigrade (60 degrees Fahrenheit), the lamp went on. Initially the girls stayed at the end furthest from the lamp but as the nights cooled further to now be around 6 degrees Centigrade (43 degrees Fahrenheit) the two moulting girls have swapped ends and now spend every night basking directly under the lamp. The third hen, our black Silkie Farrah, is nothing short of enormous (1.6 kilos/ 3.5 pounds) and doesn't need the extra heat so she stays well away. Having said that, she has moved into her Winter sleeping position which is sitting down on a fluffy mat rather than roosting on the perch.
|Jewel & Alice (left to right)|
|Farrah & Jewel|
The girls had a long acting vitamin injection which should give them a boost for the next 6 weeks or so. Their day time food is also quite strict in that it is all fresh vegetables and a mixture of hen appropriate layer crumble, wheat and crushed maize. They do get left over meats from our recent meals (nothing off), a little left over pasta or rice (nothing substantial as these can overwhelm their digestive system and get stuck in their crop) and fruit here and there that are fresh and soft enough to be pecked apart.
The girls water supply has a vitamin supplement in it also. I am a big farm of the Australian based Vetafarm range.
We are so hopeful to see the girls through this Winter in good health. They are so happy at the moment and we are really confident that this will be their year and not the year that the virus gets the better of us again.