We can now observe the sheep, live, 24-7. The surveillance farm is here.
This time, I was treated to Matt’s excited kid-on-Christmas tone of voice as he revealed a brand new home security camera, quickly noting “For the barn.” He also showed me two strange, blue items. The blue tab-shaped dongles were wireless signal extenders, used to rebroadcast signal across a distance. A distance like a dirt road and a driveway.
It took two days for Matt to put everything in place. We had to run an extension cord to the barn for the camera, knowing we’d need power for lamb heat-lamps anyway. Matt had to calculate exactly where to place the dongles to correctly extend the wireless out the the barn. Now we have to make sure the sheep don’t live-stream Shaun the Sheep all day!
Setting up the camera took some tape and a little finagling, but getting the signal strong enough to actuate the remote control to move the camera around occupied a day of Matt’s time. I would ordinarily go into detail about what he did, but I have to admit I don’t know what he was up to other than the basic concept of forming the connection to all of the devices such that it would be maintained and accessible as needed.
What I do know is that I can now see if a ewe is lambing whether I’m in bed or at work. I can leave work if lambs are coming, and I can stay at work if no ewes appear to be laboring. I can stop worrying that something is going wrong at home and no one’s on hand to help. I can check the sheep during the night without completely trashing my sleep. And most importantly, the sheep will feel more comfortable laboring without my gaze. They never behave quite normally when I’m around, so now I can get a good eye on what’s really happening. The camera pans and scans the entirety of the barn, and even has two-way sound. I’ve already learned not to talk to the sheep – they all wander around looking for me, and then get really disturbed. We now call the microphone the “Sheep Frightener.” It also takes pictures and videos.
If you are in Vermont and want a sheep cam for your barn, contact me and Matt can talk about logistics for you.