Au Bel Farm Find: Arlo Barn Cameras

It’s Fall Kidding season at the farm and it seems like my boer doe Dottie will NEVER have her babies. This means I’ve spent a lot of time watching my Arlo Barn cameras. Last week I posted the photo below of my ‘barn-watch’ setup! I’ll admit, it’s pretty cozy! Certainly a big improvement from my 4-H days when my sister and I spent a couple nights a year sleeping in the barn!

That post spurred some questions on what cameras I have and how they work, specifically how I get the image onto my TV – it’s easy!! I’ve posted a step-by-step guide below. I’ve also included Amazon Affiliate links which will automatically update prices and make it super easy to purchase exactly what I recommend. As always, I only share items I own and use every day.

Gilbert the Springer Spaniel, keeping a close eye on his herd

Step 1. Check your WiFi

Arlo systems require a strong WiFi connection. If you already have WiFi, the first thing you should do is take your phone or laptop to the location you’d like to place the cameras and run an Internet Speed Test. It’s important that you hold your phone or laptop right where the camera will be mounted. Things like walls or metal siding can interfere with the signal, so try different locations if you need to. First, make sure the ‘WiFi’ is enabled on your device. Then, google “Internet Speed Test” and run the test. According to Arlo, you will need between 1-2 Mbps upload speed per camera [Click here for more information from Arlo]. My speed test showed 6 Mbps upload speed and I have good video quality.

If you aren’t getting the speed at the location you’ll place the camera, check the speed right next to your WiFi router antenna. This is the maximum speed your system is capable of. If you don’t have 1-2 Mbps right there, you’ll need to contact your internet provider and you may need to upgrade to a different plan. If you get temporarily stopped at this step, don’t get discouraged. I live in the country and the only internet access available is wireless broadband. I have a receiver antenna which picks up the connection from a tower ‘in town’. It’s not fancy, but it still works!

Step 2. Boost your WiFi if needed

If you have enough WiFi strength near the router, but not in the barn, you still have options!! I’ve overcome this obstacle two different ways:

Place an additional WiFi Router in the barn

I have a wireless router located in my barn. I am lucky and had a buried water line from my house to the barn that I wasn’t using, so I snaked 200 ft of cat-5 Ethernet cable through it. Cat5 looks like a phone cord but has a larger end. You could also direct bury the Cat5 line underground using a trencher. If you go this route, make sure you purchase cable that is rated for ‘direct bury’ – it will have a thicker plastic coating. It sounds complicated, but it can be easily completed over a weekend. If I can do it, trust me, you can do it!

The Black box is the Wi-Fi router, the Cat5 line from my house connects to this box. The white box is the Arlo Pro 2 camera receiver, a line from the black WiFi router connects to this white Arlo Pro 2 receiver. Arlo Pro 2 cameras require the receiver box, Arlo Q camera connect wirelessly to the WiFi router and do not require the Arlo Pro 2 receiver box.

Here’s my barn set-up, it’s dirty (thanks birds…) but it works like a champ.

Place a WiFi Extender in your barn

If you don’t want to go to the time and expense of running Cat5 to your barn and your barn is fairly close to your home WiFi network, you can try using a WiFi Network Range Extender. I had good success with the Netflix Extender posted below for my parent’s barn. Their barn is about 75 feet from the house and has vinyl siding. The extender has an Ethernet port that you can connect your Arlo Pro 2 receiver to or link your Arlo Q cameras to. The extender replicates the WiFi signal from your router to increase the signal range.

Step 3. Pick a Camera

There are lots of WiFi camera available, I read a bunch of reviews and selected the brand Arlo for my system. I have two types of Arlo cameras – the Arlo Pro 2 and the Arlo Q. Both cameras had audio and microphone (Yes, I’ve yelled at my buck from my phone…) capabilities. And both can be accessed anywhere through the Arlo phone app! Simply log onto the phone app, select your camera and Voila! You’re watching your goats from the WalMart checkout line (<— I was going to say ‘from the Beach’, but let’s be real!..)

Arlo Q

If you plan to keep the camera mounted in one location where it can be plugged in and it will never get wet – I’d recommend the Arlo Q. It has a larger viewing angle than the Pro 2 system and a higher quality image. It’s sold as an indoor-only camera, but as you can see by the dirt on my camera below – it’s a work horse. If you can keep it dry, it will be fine in the barn.

The permanently mounted Arlo Q. It must be plugged in, but the image quality is excellent!

The thing I like best about the Arlo Q is the price! For my system it works better than the Arlo Pro 2, and it’s CHEAPER!! If I were to recommend only one camera (and you have electric access and can keep it dry) I’d recommend the Arlo Q.

Arlo Pro

So after all that praise for the Arlo Q, why do I even have the more expensive Arlo Pro 2? Because I have situations were I can’t keep the camera dry and I don’t have access to electricity. Arlo Pro 2s can be plugged in or they can run from a battery or solar panel. They are my go-to for the outside yard, three sided buck pen and for general home security. These are the cameras I use to monitor the entrances of my home. They are flexible and can be placed and moved very easily.

An Arlo Pro 2 camera with an optional silicone case. No wires! It can be placed anywhere!

When a doe decides that the best place to have her babies is jammed into the blind corner of the stall, this is the camera I move! They are easy to shuffle and change. They connect to the white Arlo receiver box (shown above in the image with the WiFi router) and at my farm, I find they will connect approx. 100 feet away from the receiver.

Arlo has continued to develop new models like the Arlo 4K, Arlo Pro 3 and I’m sure they will continue to make upgrades. I haven’t seen the need to upgrade – the old system is still being manufactured and maintained and I can’t justify the cost.

Step 4. But how did you get it on the TV!?!?

This is the easiest part!! My TV is an Amazon smart TV, but if you don’t have a smart TV, just purchase an Amazon Firestick. The Arlo app is compatible. All you need to do is say: “Alexa, show “Arlo Q” or in my case, since I’ve renamed the camera, “Alexa, show Barn North” – and Boom!! I’m watching my barn on my TV! Easy as Pie!

Best of Luck! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below!

There is an App for that…

Happy New Year!!

In the past few weeks I’ve taken on a couple special projects.

One was really easy. I downloaded the app Livestocked and entered all my animal’s data. It’s a herd management software that tracks animal breedings, treatments, weight gain rates, pasture information and other handy stuff. I’m really happy with it so far, there is a basic version that’s free. I’m trying the $50/year version and I’ll keep you posted on how I like it.

The second project has been more time consuming. As I’ve mentioned before, I moved my animals from my parent’s house in November. It was a quick, “Let’s do this!” kind of thing. My Dad got home from work and hooked up the trailer, while I grabbed the critters and just the essentials. Since then, I’ve slowly moved all the other stuff…. Lots of stuff! LOTS and LOTS of stuff! Things I forgot I had… like two water tank de-icers! Yessss! Along with other things that should have been pitched years ago… like a cabinet full of half-used and expired meds. Although I shouldn’t complain, NOT using medicine is a good problem to have!

Tucked in an old index card box was a great treasure!

The original livestock management software circa 2003.

In my medicine cabinet, I found an old index card box. In 2003, a year before I got my first flip phone, I’d made my own version of the Livestocked App. I had index cards for each animal – birth date, dam and sire, registration number, tattoo, photo… All the info you need to have for your big 4-H herd of 8 animals! Attached to each card was a record of de-wormings, hoof trims, Bo-Se and CD&T shots, and other comments.

The more things change, the more they stay the same!

I didn’t cry…. okay, maybe just a little. I’m sure the fact that I’d sprayed a little bit of my rusty (but still lucky)18-year-old can of Ultra finishing spray didn’t help! It still smells SO GOOD and brings back so many memories! Stuff like this reassures me that this path… this sometimes rocky farming path, is the right path for me. ❤


If you raise boer goats, take Haemonchus seriously. I want to take a moment to promote a resource I’ve found essential to the fight against Barber Pole Worm.

The American Consortium on Small Ruminant Parasite Control

I rely on this site as my only source of de-worming information – it’s that good! Much of the information available online and in Facebook groups is VERY out of date. Worms are constantly evolving, and so are de-worming recommendations. The site is maintained and constantly updated by small ruminant parasite experts from around the world


Life on a Construction Site…

What does construction look like….  how about posting a photo taken on June 16th on October 28th!  This summer has been busy, to say the least!


The barn is up, the well drilled, the Premier 1 feeders have been built…  The pasture was planted to an alfalfa/birdfoot trefoil/brome grass/orchard grass mix and the fence will go up in 2019! The does are in with the buck and I’m looking forward to having some baby goats in my life again! 🙂 What a year! I’m actually looking forward to snow, maybe that will mean less work… yeah right!


Sheep in a Jeep!

32464394_10112743392750594_4768722662857900032_nWelcome home Vera and Stella!

These beautiful Shetland ewe lambs come from

Vera is on the right, her color is described as ‘Musket’ a light greyish-brown. Stella is on the left, her color is described as ‘Emsket’ a dusky blueish gray.  Both girls also have ‘Bersugget’ markings, which means irregular patches of different colors; variegated.


The Shetland breed of sheep comes from the Shetland islands, found about 50 miles northeast of mainland Scotland.

These girls will be sheared once a year, and their beautiful wool will be knitted into yarn.  My family will be getting socks for Christmas for life!




What’s in a name?

Picking a farm name is tough work…  and there were lots of options since my place is windy… rocky… sandy… and MANY suggestions were thrown around reflecting lots of memories! But after a round of beers at the Newaygo Brewing Company, a name was picked!

I (Leslie) started my farming adventure as a 4-Her in 2000.  I was shepherded (goat-herded?) by many great friends who supported my love for agriculture. The matriarch of my goat herd was a sungau-colored American Alpine named Irish Valley Sizzlin’ Sidney. Sid continues to hold a special place in my heart. ❤

Leslie and Sidney
My first goat Sidney and I in 2004.

My Grandpa raised Hereford cattle on a small hobby farm he purchased south of the city of Belding, Michigan from the Aubill family. His place was right next door to his best friend’s farm, and they both kept Herefords.

Grandpa Leppink and herefords
My Grandpa checking his cattle during lunch, notice the tie under his coveralls!

In 2016, I purchased 10 acres from my Grandpa’s best-friend’s farm. My ground was also owned by the Aubill family at one time.

With these memories in mind… as a tribute to the previous owners, the farm’s location ‘at Belding’ and the loose translation – ‘the beautiful’…. I christened my small farm…

Au Bel Farm

And if you’re thinking ‘How the heck do you pronounce an A with a U…’

  1. You’ve probably never heard of one of the best rivers in Michigan…
  2.  It’s “Awe Bell”