We have seven chicks that have hatched from our initial batch of eggs. They are now outside in the coop. Being the technical fellow of the household, I set out to get the coop Internet-streamable last Friday night (11-07-2008).
In the coop, which has power, I have a Thinkpad 240 running Windows XP Pro with 192MB of RAM. I loaded up the LifeCam 2.04 software and created a Stickam account. I've been switching back and forth between the LifeCam VX-3000 and the VX-7000.
There is Cardbus ethernet card that connects to a dedicated access point that is setup as a bridged client to the home AP. From there, it goes out the house internet connection, which is EVDO Rev A. Hardly any wires are involved, even the internet connection.
The Thinkpad 240 has a mobile P2-300mhz CPU. It is tremendously slow launching IE 7 with Flash 10, but once loaded, the chicks stream pretty fast. It is a wonderful use of a laptop that has a failing LCD connection and an infamous IBM DeathStar hard drive.
You can see and hear our chickens, as they peck at the camera and each other. It is a good way to keep an eye on them from inside the house. We also installed a remote thermometer under the heating lamp so we know what the temperature is for the chicks out there.
You might wonder.. why all the technology? I say, why not. It is neat to see how people on the internet react to baby chickens chirping, playing and pecking at things. I doubt many coops have electrical power, internet access, a wireless access point, remote thermometers and door locks. Thankfully, I already had the spare wireless access point, semi-broken laptop, and a handful of webcams to choose from.
Eventual goal is to use Windows Home Server with mControl to be able to monitor temperatures, lights, and other aspects of the coop from anywhere in the world.
You can watch the live stream here. You can find more information of the hatching process on my wife's site here.
I've setup a dedicated section of my Facebook profile as a picture gallery of the first hatching here.