BarnCam Troubles

You might have wondered why the view in the BarnCam is skewed like this:


The Gems are large and active birds. With all of the snow and rain, they’ve been indoors. A lot. They’re bored, but bored hens don’t just stand around. They still strut and scratch and roost and peck. To keep them busy, I hung a slice of cabbage in the suet holder. It’s worked, somewhat. They’ve remained healthy and I’ve not had any aggression issues which occur in confined hens that are crowded. Still, their combined energy did the BarnCam in.


Our cams aren’t the type that you can purchase cheaply at Radio Shack and use with your home computer. Ours are professional surveillance cams. This one, (the one hanging over the chicken manure tacked on with duct tape) cost $500. They last only about two years before needing replacing. Obviously, Steve is about to do some cam shopping. For the technical details of how our system works, read this FAQ.

Luckily for the Gems, and for the BarnCam, we’ve had a spell of mild weather. The lawn is visible – well, at least a few stretches of bare ground. The Gems will get to free-range this afternoon. And Steve will get out the roll of duct tape and see if he can patch things up for awhile longer.



  1. at least we can still watch the ladies, even if they are sideways! Love’em

  2. Duct tape fixes just about anything, huh?!!!
    By the way, I just received your excellent, and beautiful book,”Tillie Lays an Egg,”and I love it! Great job!
    My dream is to publish a childrens book someday. I have a story written, and wanted to use photos of my hens to illustrate the story. How do you find out about publishing, and all the steps to take to accomplish getting one printed,etc.?

  3. Perhaps an overhead view for the cam foregoing the “birds eye view” ? Plus I’d love an exterior view of the big barn run area, where the gems tend to be more often than inside.

  4. I never cease to be amazed at the damage those little feet can do. I watched my Jersey Giant dig out a fully grown rose bush in about 20 minutes one afternoon. She kept digging and scratching and the whole got bigger and bigger and finally the bush just fell over. I just propped it back up and shoveled the dirt back in and it was fine but I can’t imagine what they would do to my yard if I let them out for more than 20 minutes a day.

  5. Hi Terry, Just getting caught up with your blog. Regarding the previous entry- check out craigslist in your area (I checked Boston), there are many rabbits for adoption. Even a Giant Flemish, although that might not be a good match for the girls. Not matter what rabbit you decide on, that will be one lucky bunny.

  6. Hi Terry, just thought I would let you know that a barred rock is totally terrorizing Buffy. Pecking her head, scratching her body. Total bully and Buffy isn’t getting out of the way. :-( Chickens are not kind or pretty sometimes. Lost one of my leghorns this morning…three years old, and an elderly girl..six year old barred rock, last week. The other side of hen keeping!

    • Thanks for the heads up. It’s been escalating. I thought it was Siouxsie, so I trimmed her feathers today so that she could see (she’s not as aggressive when she can see what she’s pecking!) Amazing how much blood can spurt out of a pecked comb. I cleaned up Buffy and the damage wasn’t too bad. I’ve put her in the hutch in the run so that she can have some peace. I think that the other hens have detected a change in her health again.

      • Oh, phew! I think the others are realizing she is getting weaker. Glad she is out of pecking harm now. It looked painful! A little place to relax for the girl so she is out of beaks way is a good thing. I need to get a hutch, too. I have a little dog crate that is useful and a good place for new chicks…the hens can reach inside and eat tidbits, but not harrass the little ones and they get a chance to get used to each other quickly. Oh, and I have some daffodils showing above a little bare spot! Hooray for spring!

        • The hutch that I have Buffy in even has an enclosed area, like a nesting box. She loves her resort home :) Thanks again for letting me know – as you know these things can suddenly take a sudden turn for the worse.