An Improved HenCam

It has been a long time in the making, but we now have the main HenCam camera sending out high-definition, high-speed video. Now you can really see how fast Phoebe is!

If you want to have a similar set-up you will need a few things.

You’ll need a cam. It will cost you $500.



If you have a rabbit,



you will have to make sure that all of the wiring is encased in bunny-proof conduits. Speaking of electric, you will need this. You won’t be able to find an electrician who knows how to install it, so you’ll have to do it yourself.



If you know what the above photo is, and you know how to get WiFi out to the coop, then you are likely already a computer geek and are paying a hefty fee for your internet service. To be able to stream fast video worldwide, be prepared to spend about $1,000 yearly above what you’re already paying.

There’s no out-of-the-box system for you to plug in. So, you’ll likely have to spend months teaching yourself how to configure and program your website to accommodate the video.

Really, what you need is one of these:


Sorry, you can’t have my husband. He did, though, write a FAQ to share what he now knows about how to run a cam. Read here.

Although the cams are outdoor, surveillance cams, designed to withstand graffiti vandals, they are no match for goats and hens. They need replacing every two years. The other three cams are beginning to fail, and will hopefully be replaced with this new high-speed system when we can. Seven years ago, when I started this website, I thought that it would be a simple way to let readers know about my books. The books never did cover the costs of this site, even as HenCam became my full-time job. It became time to treat what I do here as my “real” work, which is why I have GoogleAds in the margins. The “coffee” money goes a long way to enable me to do what I do here (and some really does go to my coffee habit.) Thank you to everyone who has already contributed to this site! I love what I do, and I love sharing the animals in my backyard with you. Now you’ll be able to experience more as I do. What fun!

PS: There are bound to be glitches. There might be a delay before the video comes on – up to 10 seconds. There might be a lag time with the livestream. We’re not sure what will happen when there’s a lot of you watching at one time. If you can’t access it at all, please leave a comment with details, like the device that you watch on and your server. It will help ITGuy get the bugs out.


  1. Terry (and devoted husband),
    The new webcam is very nice! I love being able to watch in ‘real time’ rather than ‘stop-action’. = )
    Blessings, Judy in Whittier, California

  2. Unable to play the new camers :( maybe i can get it to work tomorrow…

  3. I haven’t been to your site in awhile and immediately noticed how good the video looked. Then I saw you come out and photograph the camera (I felt like a creeper) and figured it was brand new. Good job and thank you for providing so much chicken information and entertainment. I would love to donate once I’m in a better financial situation myself.

  4. I was out most of the day and didn’t get back until just after 9pm your time. I saw bugs whizzing by in black and white. Even that looks great! I can’t wait until morning! Great job, Steve!

  5. Looking forward to this new camera. Haven’t been on today so I missed it. Hope all is good at Little Pond.

  6. Woohoo!!!! The Hencam is literally my life. I live for your blogposts and watch the chickens inbetween! So excited! :)

  7. As a first grade teacher I’m noticing your writing pattern on this is similar to Laura Numeroff ( If You Give A Moose a Muffin, If You Give a Pig a Pancake, etc.). I love it! If you haven’t read her work, you must. Darling ADD animals and sweet illustrations.

  8. WOW Thanks so much, with full screen it’s like being in the pen with them. Just amazing!

  9. A few weeks ago I notice that the picture was much sharper; both Buffy and I could appreciate that it made the girls, old and young, look taller and much more svelte (the pullets were like runway models). So imagine my amazement when I “tuned in” this morning to your set up in real time. I can even see Siouxie in the big barn run, her white pouf bobbing up and down (she must be participating in the Gem’s morning Zumba class). Thank you Terry and thank you Steve!

  10. Good Sunday Morning! I just tuned in to hencam and saw a head pop out of the little door barn. I thought it was one of the chickens until it suddenly flew out and into the air. I wonder if that was a chicken hawk. It was definitely not a small bird like a robbin or sparrow.

  11. There is currently NOBODY on Hencam! It must be the heat, I will return later to admire the girls in real time :o)

  12. I love the new cam. A great improvement over the last one.
    My coop is about 100′ from my back door and last December I installed an “out of the box” webcam. It is not HD but the picture is more than adequate. The cost was only $69.00 and is adjustable, up and down and side to side. The coop is wired and it was almost “plug and play. I use it to monitor day to day activities and focus on the nesting boxes and I know when to go to collect eggs.
    Thanks for your daily tips and excellent blogs..

      • It really is. It’s also fun to watch when they leave the run for the coop. The jockeying for position and who is going to roost with who. Invariably the 2 brahmas, 2 RIR’s and 2 gold comets stay together. “Birds of a feather” you know.

  13. Found your site last night and woke up super excited to check out the cam. Fantastic job!! We are very new to raising chickens (15 days) we have 4 7 week old chicks. It is nice to see your hens in action and get an idea of what is normal behavior. Wish you guys lived closer to us so I could go to a workshop. Love love love your set up. Doreen from So. California.

  14. Love the new cam and the comment about your husband. Too cute. Thanks

  15. Really, really great viewing .. thanks for a fine job, Steve. Little Pond must be a much happier place after recent events. We’re so glad…

  16. Hi Terry, I am viewing the cams on my Samsung Galaxy tablet. I can still see inside the 2 barns and the goats but not the outside view which is Hencam 1.
    It would be great if this can be sorted but not to worry as I shall still enjoy reading your brilliant blogs xxx
    Ps. I am also getting error message same as Marilyn

  17. Hi Terry. Love the new look! It’s really nice. I was wondering why you have hardware cloth in the corner below the camera in the first picture.

  18. Wow, what a difference. So much fun to watch the hen party now. Well. It was before, too. In case ITGuy is interested, I have an iPad third generation using Safari, and I always keep one tab for hencam so I can check in several times a day. Your weather is very like ours down here in the south coast, except for the slight difference being a mile from the water makes for us.

    So entertaining, thanks!

    And…so glad to know the hens are all healthy now. That was very worrying. I hope you get a vacation soon.

  19. I love the new camera! Great work Steve, you are a man of many talents! Terry, I wonder if you could sell the nursing home on the idea of a similar set-up? I bet the residents would love to see up close what goes on inside the coop, and close up shots of the run.

  20. Am enjoying Buffy and one of the Araucanas in the distance taking dust baths side by side–cute. That kind of activity is more viewable now! (I should be cleaning house!)

  21. It’s fantastic to be able to see all the fine movements with the new set-up. Those little wagging goat tails are so cute! Not having goats myself, I didn’t realize how expressive they were with their tails. Irresistible.

  22. Terry, in reference to your post about how well behaved your gems are; well my girls are not gems. I love them as if they were my own children, but they are a rowdy bunch. I cannot go into the run with shorts on. I have two dark brown freckles on each leg just under the knee. They wait for them. They peck and Luna even twist her head back and forth trying to tear it off. I fly out of the run, because when one starts they all jump in. Hubby and me have given them all kinds of things to do in their run. They have a roost, dust bath, compost pile, swing, stump, a plastic container to peck at(which they love) and a dvd. You would think this would keep them busy. But no. Their favorite past time is sparring. They don’t hurt each other they just do the chest thumping, chasing and jumping. They flare out their feathers and are a scary sight to see. One RIR, Rosie, I think has terrates syndrome. She’ll just be standing there and for no reason will fly up and land in the middle of several hens. They all start sparring. The only one that doesn’t enjoy this is my BO, chica. She tries to stay hidden because they actually peck her. Am I doing something wrong or do I just have a crazy flock of chickens?

    • Keep watching, Jennifer! The Girls are constantly flying at each other and it’s not at all settled like with the Gems. Teenage behavior :) As far as pecking – some hens are more like that than others (my Speckled Sussex go for my buttons) and never go in wearing flip flops when your toes are painted! But, they should learn to be polite. If you do feed them treats, always toss away from you. You can feed out of your hand, but stop as soon as the hens get pushy. They can learn to stand near you and wait. (Close your fist around the food if they are pushy. Only feed when they are standing politely. Works with dogs. Works with hens.)

      • Thought their antics were a little excessive, but good to hear it’s normal behavior. I think Rosie is a little mean or just a playful one, but she has other qualities that are great. She may have to be put in the “time out” cage that I hope I never have to use. She’ll probably grow out of it. As always, thanks for the help.

  23. PS- I don’t see your girls doing this at all, thanks to the new camera. I was worried mine were preening all the time, that they may have a parasite. I was relieved to see yours do it too.

  24. Drats, are you SURE I can’t have that husband? I have so much I want done, and I am quite inept with my hands. And brain, for that matter. I want part of my chicken yard covered with a “roof.” I want to have gates built to section off a part of the yard for new chicks. I want cameras set up on my home network so I can check on the hens from inside. I want…I want…

    I loved when the chick cam was up, for those sleepless nights when I needed company. I wonder if you’d ever have a night cam showing the chickens sleeping on the roost? Am I desperate or what?….coffee coming your way! ;)

  25. Love the new camera!
    Wish I knew what the Ameracauna was talking about! She was really saying something just now! Is a microphone in the future? Just wishing! I appreciate all that you and Steve do! Thanks again,Terry!

  26. Oh my stars and garters! This streams beautifully here on the West Coast. Thank you so much for investing in this!

  27. I have been watching the new camera off and on all day. I swear the ladies are posing for the new camera!! So funny.

  28. Terry- New cam is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing all you do, your posts have really helped me from time to time with own flock. I have nine chickens in urban Portland, Oregon and have had chickens for 4 years.

  29. Wow! Phoebe is quite the digger! I know you are aware, and have the wire in the ground, but she is looking for the bottom of the wire, isn’t she!

  30. Phoebe was just making a bed! By the time the post was sent, she was resting in the hole that she dug!

  31. Chere Terry
    congratulation for the new cam-it’s wonderfull!
    BUT….why the empty bunny box cuts the magnifique backgrund wiew-with the goats sometimes in the green grass, playing each-others– this box is a bad curtin:(
    Amitie from France

      • Aww, moving it is a shame. Under the hutch is where the girls all gather (when they gather) to rest during the day. It’s enclosed and shady under there. They’ll have no resting place that directly faces the camera now. :-(

  32. “Error loading loading player…no playable sources found” on a black what I see from my kindle.FYI…..

  33. I always peek in from work in the morning…everything looks excellent on my end. Nice to see how fast everyone moves.

  34. Got a service error this morning. Can’t wait to see it!!!

  35. Pip and Caper must know about the new cam. They’re really putting on a show “boxing” right now.

  36. :-(
    Getting “Error loading stream – could not connect to server” error – this is on my Dell PC at work. It could be because of their firewall. I will try at home this evening.

    • This is the same error I’m getting. Dell Laptop at work; I was able to follow prior to this current change.

  37. Where has everyone gone? I just checked all the cams and the only critter in sight (and that just barely) is Phoebe under the nesting boxes.
    Yes, Gizi has a point but I will miss not being able to see which chickens are visiting in the hutch.
    Yes, I think a compost heap cam is in order.

  38. YESSS:)))
    Thanks Terry-the background is beautiful now.
    Big kiss from France

  39. After watching the little circle of dots dance in the center of the black screen for a while, the whole screen just turns green for me. No message. Any suggestions? I did get a peek yesterday, one out of 3 visits. Ü

  40. I got error loading media. File could not be played on my IPad.

  41. I know you can’t please everyone for sure. First off my reception is wonderful. I have a Mac and it works well for me.
    Now that you have moved the Rabbit hutch which seemed to be a shade area where the hens liked to gather I am not seeing the hens. They must have found another shady area.
    I do love the new reception.

  42. When the screen came up on my computer, my jaw dropped! How EXCELLENT!!!!!

  43. It’s hot today and all the girls must be hiding in the compost area. But ITGuy was just outside and all the girls came around so I got to see the new cams awesome-ness. :) what i love most is that i can actually SEE Buffy clucking!! she was giving her approval of the new spot for Phoebe’s hutch, I do believe. i love her.

  44. Love the new streaming HD; Steve is awesome! The write-up was wonderful. I’ll have to go through everything a few hundred times more before I begin to come close to knowing what it all means…wow. Thank you! Also, never knew chickens & binnies were so, ahem, destructive, with cameras. Little stinkers. Phoebe looks even softer. Makes me want to reach through the camera and stroke her beautiful fur!

    I do, however, miss seeing the runway model Twiggy and determined Twinkydink using the bunny hutch (aka luxury high rise condo). It’s been fun watching some of the girls jocky for the runway. Twiggy can be very, shall we say, “prosessive” of “her” runway/ramp.
    Most of the girls seem to like to rest under the hutch for shade, and now it’s hard to see them since the hutch was moved.

  45. It took me a moment to adjust to the new system on my 2 almost 3 year old Kindle Fire, but once I figured out what I needed to do, it’s been great! And I thought I was addicted before. ;-p

  46. P.S. My Kindle does pop up a message that says “This video not optimized for mobile” but the message goes away and I think what I am seeing is good!

  47. Oh my gosh what a difference the new camera makes! I guess Joan and I will get even less done when we get back to the library after summer break. Little Pond Farm is a joy to watch. What a stress reducer!!!! Is that a word?
    I hope you and Mica are having a great time together. Congrats!!!
    P. S. Thank you Steve.

  48. I’m assuming what is happening is because your wonderful Steve is tweaking the system or something is buffering, but in case it’s important to report it, here is what I get on my ipad2 & iphone5:
    Flawless movement (varying 2-4 minutes off what the Hencam claims reads and the iphone5 or ipad2 clocks reads), interspersed with sudden stops for about 12 seconds. When the pauses resume they start from where they left off for a couple seconds and then lurch forward. It happens more on the ipad2 then on the iphone5. Then after awhile, on either device, the screen will freeze, go dark and (in blue lettering) “Error loading media: File could not be played” comes up. After which a pop-up window (I think it originates from the idevices) comes up and says “The operation could not be completed.” Sometimes that pop-up just stays there, sometimes not and instead there is a black screen with a large letter “Q”. Either way, the Hencam won’t return unless I go to the selection bar listing Hencam/InsideCam/etc and re-select a cam. This isn’t happening viewing the other cams.
    I mention the above ONLY in the hope it helps your wonderful IT Guy do all the Big Brain stuff needed to produce the Cams. No criticism intended in the least! I’m lucky to survive a session syncing my iPhone to iTunes without losing half my Contacts…so whatever you have on the HenCam is miraculous and very appreciated. :-D

    • This is Steve, the I.T. Guy at HenCam. Kate, thanks for the info. I’m working on the long startup times (excessive latency). Also we are having some stability issues, and every time the system hiccups, it takes several minutes for everything to get back running. The same thing happens when I make any changes to the configuration – it takes a few minutes to start running again.

      So if everything was working, and then you get the “Error loading media” message, just wait a few minutes and try again. Refreshing the entire webpage may help.

      I appreciate the enthusiastic comments and I hope to soon have things working faster and more reliably. Thanks for watching The HenCam!

  49. Sending thanks to Steve and Terry for making a better show, if possible, than before. Love the new camera. Twinkydink is still a beautiful chicken, even at her age.

  50. Just wanted to share my findings re: the error message I got at work this morning when trying to access the new (and amazing) webcam: it appears that for me it it wasn’t an operating system issue; rather, it was a combination of user account/access/security settings and Internet Explorer browser limitations. Older versions of Internet Explorer don’t work for me. However, Google Chrome (free download, BTW) works just fine, as do recent versions of Firefox. For those of you who are getting connection errors, it may be worth trying alternate browsers. I have not been able to view the (little barn) hen cam on my Blackberry Playbook however (unsupported Media), but I have been successful viewing with my Blackberry phone`s browser.
    Many many thanks to Terry and Steve for sharing all of this with us – loving the view!

    • Thanks for the report Jaye. This streaming setup works for relatively modern browsers. Currently Android devices are not supported, but I’m trying to get that working as well. I appreciate your patience!

      • Thanks, Steve. Fortunately, although I can’t access the new hencam here at work because of security access and IE browser limitations, it works beautifully on my home PC – it’s the next best thing to being there!

  51. I love the new cam. I look mostly on my iPad. somebody recommended a compost cam and I second that suggestion. I often catch a glimpse of activity in the long range goat cam that I wish I could see more of!

  52. Loving it, Terry! Phoebe is sooo fast! A bit hair-raising to see her almost knock poor old Buffy over, though. Maybe Buffy will learn to put out a foot and trip her up!

  53. It does not work on my Android tablet either. Looks great on the desktop PC tho!

  54. Is anybody seeing something strange under the hutch? It sort of looks like one hen pecking another one.

  55. well, I seem to have lost hencam. When I click on all I get is a black screen with gray and white dots twirling around in the center.

  56. Yesterday I noticed Owly & Beatrix looking up even more than usual and then suddenly Beatrix flew up and disappeared. She flew toward the Little Barn or some area above their pop door that can’t be seen from the HenCam view. When Beatrix flew up, Twiggy came down, so it may be a small area. Has anyone else noticed this?

  57. Hi Terry..Funny..I can view the inside cams but not the home cam…it says…error loading player?????

  58. WOW! The picture is just amazing Terry! Thank you IT GUY STEVE!

  59. I am afraid I posted too soon regarding being able to see the new hen cam on my kindle fire.Now all I can see is the following message – “Error loading stream: ID not found on server”. I don’t even know what that means but if is something I can adjust for on my kindle I would be grateful to have it explained to me. Thanks!

  60. On my Asus Transformer tablet I get the message “Error loading player: No playable sources found.:

  61. I’m getting a great streaming video! I love the wide lens and the up close view of the chicks and bunny when they get close to the lens. No problems anymore on my laptop or my iPad. Thanks!

  62. the quality of the camera is great but the hens are so often around the corner and out of sight – how about a small compost pile or shade maker front of the camera?

  63. Hi Steve, Re: New improved HenCam. Superior definition and color fidelity on my Dell UltraSharp U2410 – 24″ W Monitor. Love those greens and browns esp on cloudy days without high contrast. I’m very impressed with your dragonfly photos; excellent composition, spot-on focus and blurred backgrounds. They really add much to the site!

  64. Oh this is wonderful! I might not get any work done! :)

  65. the new camera is great! feels like you’re right there among them, and they appear to stare right at it, and you …(young ones seems to establishing who’s boss a lot lately..)

  66. After not missing a beat through the transition to the new cam, and loving it on my iPad the whole time, now I am getting the dreaded error media will not play message.

    • Jane, that was the 5 minutes today where the camera stream was down! When you get that message, wait a few minutes and try again. Sorry for the problem.

  67. Today is Wed, July 24, 2013 and the time is approx 6:18PM EST. Unfortunately the HenCam screen on my computer is still black. I can see the inside, barn an goat cam just fine. I am using a desk top computer.

    • Linda, what kind of computer do you have? Is this at home, or at work? I might be able to help if I knew a few more details.

      • I have a Gateway Desk top that runs windows vista. It is a home computer. It is 4 yrs old and I am wondering if I should just throw it out. I hear windows vista is going by the wayside. I can’t even download IE9. Thanks for any suggestions you have.

  68. Wow, the new cam is sensational. This channel could (should) replace about half the ones on our satellite — you know, especially the ones of peabrained men catching alligators, sharks, cutting down trees (huh?) etc. Chickens shall rule the world, one hencam at a time!

    • For a brief and glorious year, Animal Planet was run by a woman who actually loved animals and the shows reflected her world view. Sadly, it’s now almost all about dominating nature in as gory a method possible. Glad that my cam provides you with a alternative to that :)

    • Hi Judy, do you have an Android phone? The current setup works on some Android devices, but apparently not for all. I’m still working on that. Windows phones and older Blackberry phones are a further challenge. Hopefully we’ll be able to support those, too.

  69. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new camera – what a huge difference! Thank you so much for all the work you and your hubby did (and spent) to make it happen. I just said hello to Buffy – she’s the reason I have three beautiful buff orps.

  70. Wow! Just stopped in for the first time in a few months. What a great picture! You have to be a little crazy to spend that kind of time and money on it, but you’re my kind of crazy. Sure wish I could have chickens here.