Hopefully we should be back (just in time for halloween!)
Sorry for the downtime - it's been a bit of a stress getting it all back online, but hopefully it was worth it.
The PC that has run hencam for 10+ years (and originally cost over a thousand pounds!) has finally died - a permanent, final death.
If you want the technical details, the PC used a RAID array of two hard drives in stripe format - this can speed up the system but means if one hard drive dies, you lose all your data as there is no redundancy built into it.
One of the hard drives has totally failed (it won't even spin up) - so I've lost everything - windows install, hencam backups, configurations, streaming setup - the lot. :(
I'm currently in the process of buying a replacement and getting it all set up and configured - hopefully in the next few days.
Just thought you guys should know!
I know I've not been on for sooo long, I really am sorry.
Seems like every time I post here I apologise for not posting and saying there's a lot going on... but there really is.
Started a new job, longer commute but really enjoying it - so that's good - just been having to get my head down and learn new stuff and work hard.
Had some awful times with my car too - if you want to read about it, have a look in the "spammers and bad people" section of the forum...
Also, over the last 6 months we've lost several hens
Olga died of suspected heart failure.
Ariel just died in her sleep Found her one morning slumped on the perch.
Velma had a phlegmy cough then just died.
Renee got a huge infection in her eye - not sure if she scratched it or a twig got in, but a vet visit later and with antibiotic injections and water additive she's still with us, but obviously blind in that eye - she seems to be coping pretty well but it's sad to see her go to bed hours before the others
We might be moving some time in the future - not really looking forwards to all the upheaval but it might be for the best in the long run.
So not the best of times...
It's getting exciting!
Did you know you can vote once per day, so you know what to do!
Scarlet is currently taking part in a "draw your demons" art competition online and needs your help and vote!
Hi guys! Long time no update (sorry).
You might notice a little addition to the coop - a huge cat-shaped white Pet Cave! We thought it would add a bit of variety to the coop and the hens would enjoy dust-bathing in it - at the moment it's full of sand and DE!
We saw it in a pet-shop in Ilkley and it was a decent price so decided, what the hell! I had to take off half the coop's side to get it in - it's bloody massive!
Of course the hens are terrified of it - although I have seen Hedwig take a few steps into it (for the bits of food I'd scattered in there) - for the smallest hen she seems to be the bravest!
I hope they get used to it soon.
Storm Doris (really?!) is due to hit tomorrow, so I'm hoping the hens stay safe and the coop doesn't blow away!
Hope you stay safe and don't suffer too much from the battering we're expecting.
On Thursday morning I had a phone call at work to tell me that my dad had just had a stroke and was on his way to hospital - not something you want to hear at the best of times...
We've obviously been worried sick and have spent the following days visiting and giving family lifts where possible - it's been emotional and tiring!
I'm happy to say he seems to be making a really good recovery - he didn't lose his speech or have a lopsided face but his right arm and leg were immobile. The following day after the stroke he could move his hand, after that he could lift his arm a bit, and recently he's started to be able to move his legs, so it's all really positive and optimistic. He hasn't been able to wiggle his toes but we're hoping that comes back soon too.
Anyway, just wanted to let you know what was going on and why I haven't been around (even less than normal).
Get well soon Trev!
I think we're going to be featured in the Telegraph and Argus over the next day or so as they are writing an article on the latest avian flu restrictions and obviously immediately thought of me (!!!) to ask how it affects hen keepers.
They were also interested in how it affects the hencam viewers, but other than possibly improving the site for them (as the hens stay in front of the cameras longer!) - has it had any other affect on you guys? Let us know in the forum!
I actually made/found time this weekend to put some hours into the hencam site, and I think I've finally fixed the issue of the broadcaster crashing, not starting up, and generally been a pain.
I also upped the quality on the streaming so you should be able to see even more hen-detail!
Have a look and let me know what you think :)
Apparently we're big in Norwich University too with the students - shout out to Tom and Lydia ;)
We hope you had a fantastic festive period and are feeling refreshed for the start of the new year!
I'm back at work and looking forward to the longer daylight hours of spring...!
The year's annual total for eggs was 687 - not bad!
We went for a new year walk the other day around Goit Stock near where we live, and I took this pic of the waterfall which was in full force after the rain...
Hope you have a fab Christmas, from everyone at hencam. xxx
I woke up to the news that all poultry must be kept indoors for a month - according to the report on BBC News there is a virulent strain of birdflu which although it only affects birds (and isn't transmittable to humans), it has swept across Europe and is on it's way to the UK.
So all owners of poultry from large farms to small backyard pets must keep their birds indoors and away from wild birds.
This is easier said than done - our hens are kept locked in their run during the day to prevent fox attacks and even though there is small mesh completely around their enclosure, I've still seen wild birds in there eating the food - they're so small they can fit through the smallest of gaps...
I'll do what I can to keep them away but if a bird is hungry and can fit through a tiny gap, I'm not sure what anyone can do... Let me know your thoughts and suggestions!
Lets hope this outbreak passes the UK by.
Although I've only been with WhichBingo (the tripadvisor of bingo sites!) for a couple of months, I'm settling in really well thanks to the fact that it's actually a nice company to work for and the people are really nice.
We were all invited down to London on Monday for a posh award's ceremony - we were nominated for two awards and we won one -yay!
Here's me and the lovely WhichBingo Anita looking very drunk/proud!
I haven't been around much for the last couple of months, and the site was starting to die a little, which I apologise for.
I was made redundant in September - which was completely out of the blue, and caused us huge amounts of worry and heartache, and I think (without been too melodramatic) I went into a depression (which had the positive of making me lose weight by not eating - unfortunately I've put it all back on now!) - I was a horrible person to Helen and made her life hell without really meaning to, we were genuinely worried about losing the house - in fact neither of us slept very much as I was wondering if we'd be repossessed, what would happen to the hens, hencam would die out etc etc).
I had a whirlwind few weeks of depression, not eating, not sleeping, and in the midst of all that going for interviews and trying to think positively whilst really not feeling it. And thank god I found a new role at a really great place, it's a bit more travelling but the working environment and personal improvement I'll hopefully get will make up for it. I started on the 11th Oct so it's still early days but the people seem nice so fingers crossed I have found my 'forever' workplace! One positive is that even the short time I've been at my new role it's highlighted how bad my previous job was and how badly treat the people there were, so I'm glad to be out!
During all this I haven't felt up to keeping on top of the new signups, hencam news or even making sure cameras etc work - I think I fixed the broken one the other day but I noticed an update to the streaming software had broken stream - it seems to be showing an old stream?! I'll try and get that fixed asap.
But the site is pretty much all working - I had a camera die (actually a power supply I think - but it took the camera with it) - I've replaced it with another and will play about with where to site it this weekend.
We bought the chickens a xylophone - Shobna sent me a facebook link with a hen playing one, so I ordered one immediately with a warm and fuzzy feeling, but our chickens have completely ignored it :( I did get Ariel to peck it as she ate mealworms from my fingers so there is a strong possibility of training the hens to use it, but I'm not sure the original facebook post wasn't just a ploy to get affiliate orders...
This Saturday we will be watching with great excitement, the world championship hen racing in Bonsall, Derbyshire!
We did think about taking a hen and taking part but it's a bit of a long journey and the last time we moved three hens (Claudia, Hedwig and Olga), they had a stress/heat induced cough when we got home...
I'll try and take some pics/videos of the exciting hen-racing action. :)
Who is the rather strange hen laying eggs precariously on top of the nest boxes?!
I suspect one of the small/bantams as the eggs are small, but I need to go through some of the webcam history to try and pinpoint who it is... Whoever it is, they're a bit confused as to where they should be laying eggs!
It's Amazon Prime Day! Time to stock up on stuff you don't really want...
I did manage to find a cheapish solar powered charger - hopefully it will save us some money as our electricity bills are 50% higher than the national average :( I suppose that's what you get for having a PC, 4 cameras and mic's running 24/7.
If you do want to go have a look on amazon, please use our links, it doesn't cost you anything but helps bring us a few pence if you order :)
We've got problems with our internal electricity wiring so the camera will be off and on for the next few days.
Fingers crossed it's all sorted for the weekend...
Can't believe the little englanders swayed the vote and the UK is leaving the EU...
What's worse is we won't stay as the UK for long - Scotland will leave, and probably NI too.
It seems the 'leave' voters will get the small-minded country they obviously want.