New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Reliable thermometer

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

We are trying to hatch using a Little Giant with fan and turner and have already lost one setting of eggs because of inconsistent temperatures.  I can't find a dependable thermometer. I have tried bulb type and digital type.  How do I approach this problem? Is there a 100% reliable therrmometer out there?  Can't get the humidity over 34% either.  I have all of the water cavities filled + I added 4 little cups to hold extra water.  Still no luck.  Is it me or the machine?

post #2 of 9

It's your measuring instruments.  Unless you are in the desert, your humidity should be reading higher than that with all of that water in there.  Have you read all of "hatching eggs 101" in the learning center?  That will help you in ways you don't even know you need help!  Your thermometers and hygrometer need to be calibrated.  You can calibrate the hygrometer with the "salt test".  You can calibrate your thermometer (bulb type) with the ice water test.  Both are explained in the learning center article.  Personally, I like to calibrate my thermometers to 100* by using a good medical grade oral thermometer.  Those are guaranteed to be +/- .2* accurate, while other thermometers that you may buy can err by 2* either way.  I fill a cup with warm water, and put the medical thermometer in, being sure to not let it touch the sides of the container.  Put your bulb thermometer in at the same time.  Give them time to register.  When the bulb has stabalized, look at the 2 readings.  If your medical reads 100, while the bulb reads 98.5, you know that you need to add 1.5* to what ever reading you get for it to be accurate.  So, if it reads 98* in the bator, you know the temp is actually 99.5*.  What are you using for a bator?  The hatching temp will need to vary, depending on whether you have a fan or not.  Also, there can be wide variation in temps throughout your box, even with a fan based on how close to the heating element your thermometer is.  I like to hatch at 100* with a fan, rotate the eggs throughout the box, and do what is called "dry incubation".  Again, all explained in learning center.  Any digital thermometers, be sure you have a new battery! 

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #3 of 9

I use this thermometer/hygrometer from Incubator Warehouse. It has worked great for hatches of chickens and quail. Going to need to get a new battery for it this year. I also have their Incukit in my incubator. Digital thermostat fan and heating element that fits in your hand. Great products!!

post #4 of 9

And I have two of that very model, from the same company, and they give vastly different readings, even with new batteries!  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy gardener View Post
 

And I have two of that very model, from the same company, and they give vastly different readings, even with new batteries!  


Really? That is crazy. Mine is a couple years old and seemed like it was accurate. I only use it a couple times a year.

post #6 of 9
Jblegg83, you are missing the point. Just because you may have gotten one that is actually reading pretty close to the way it should does not mean each and every one does. After all, they are trying to make one that reads right. Most will be fairly close. But due to manufacturing tolerances, some read high, some read low, and some are pretty close.

I don’t have that model but one similar but without the memory. It reads about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit low. I have two other spring-type thermometers, one read 3 degrees low and the other reads about 1.5 degrees low. I know this because I calibrated them using a medical thermometer that is accurate. My hatch times confirm they were reading wrong.

I didn’t even calibrate the one that came with my incubator. They said to not rely on it so I just tossed it.

I’ve never bothered to calibrate my hygrometer. I’ve learned through experience a humidity during incubation of around 39 to 40 percent gives me the best hatch. Different humidities work for different ones of us anyway, there is no one perfect humidity that works for all of us. By opening the unhatched eggs I was able to decide what works best for me.

Goodag2, it probably is your instruments. I’m not going to give you a make and model because I don’t trust any of them until they have been calibrated against something I trust.

A few points. Since you have a forced air it doesn’t matter where inside you take the temperature so calibration should be the answer. With humidity, how long did you give it to stabilize? After you add water, especially if the water is cold, it can take hours for it to stabilize. From reading your post I don’t think this is it.

Another thing. I once did not get the lid back on correctly with mine, the cord to the turner was not in the slot. Mine was able to hold the correct temperature but the humidity was way below what it should have been.

In my experience that’s the only two things that have affected my humidity readings. Maybe someone can chime in with something else, but I’d strongly suspect the instrument. With that much water in there your humidity reading should be through the roof.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridgerunner View Post

Jblegg83, you are missing the point. Just because you may have gotten one that is actually reading pretty close to the way it should does not mean each and every one does. After all, they are trying to make one that reads right. Most will be fairly close. But due to manufacturing tolerances, some read high, some read low, and some are pretty close.

I don’t have that model but one similar but without the memory. It reads about 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit low. I have two other spring-type thermometers, one read 3 degrees low and the other reads about 1.5 degrees low. I know this because I calibrated them using a medical thermometer that is accurate. My hatch times confirm they were reading wrong.

I didn’t even calibrate the one that came with my incubator. They said to not rely on it so I just tossed it.

I’ve never bothered to calibrate my hygrometer. I’ve learned through experience a humidity during incubation of around 39 to 40 percent gives me the best hatch. Different humidities work for different ones of us anyway, there is no one perfect humidity that works for all of us. By opening the unhatched eggs I was able to decide what works best for me.

Goodag2, it probably is your instruments. I’m not going to give you a make and model because I don’t trust any of them until they have been calibrated against something I trust.

A few points. Since you have a forced air it doesn’t matter where inside you take the temperature so calibration should be the answer. With humidity, how long did you give it to stabilize? After you add water, especially if the water is cold, it can take hours for it to stabilize. From reading your post I don’t think this is it.

Another thing. I once did not get the lid back on correctly with mine, the cord to the turner was not in the slot. Mine was able to hold the correct temperature but the humidity was way below what it should have been.

In my experience that’s the only two things that have affected my humidity readings. Maybe someone can chime in with something else, but I’d strongly suspect the instrument. With that much water in there your humidity reading should be through the roof.

All good info.  Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate.  Even when using the same bator and the same meters 3 years in a row, I calibrate my thermometers before every hatch.  Like RR, I confess that I don't calibrate my hygrometer.  But... I do get a sense of what is going on by having it in there, do a combination of monitoring air cells, hygrometer, outside humidity...  The one statement that I disagree with in this post, and let me emphasize that this disagreement is particular to my specific bator with fan, and I've heard others have the same experience.  Just b/c there is a fan, that does not necessarily mean that your temp will be the same throughout your bator.  I've had to install air baffles, and still get enough variance that I deem it prudent to move eggs throughout the bator so that they rotate through the warmer/cooler zones.

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #8 of 9
No argument from me. I wrote that wrong. Just because they should read the same anywhere inside doesn’t mean they all do. That’s more often associated with homemade incubators but not all commercial incubators ae designed for correct air flow either. Good point.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #9 of 9
I got aquarium thermometers ($2.97 at Walmart) and tested them in ice water to see if they were accurate - they are - and since they're meant to be submerged they aren't effected by the humidity level in the incubator.
Best wishes!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Incubating & Hatching Eggs