brooder thermometer


5 Years
Mar 6, 2014
Beaverton, OR
I'm getting ready for chick and was wondering about the thermometer situation. We don't have a standard one but we do have a "gun style" laser thermometer that's very accurate, im worried now though that it could freak out the littles. I'm using the Brinsea 20 so it's not a placement issue. I'm picking my new ladies from a local store so I could always buy a normal one there (to add to my shopping list lol). I did laser the underneath part and got temps ranging from 98 to 89, I have the brinsea higher at one end so the peepers have a range to choose from.
Really, a thermometer is not that important. Sure, its nice to get an idea of what the temperature is in the brooder, but the chicks will let you know, when the are uncomfortable. Too hot and they'll be lethargic and panting. Too cold and they will huddle together and most likely be peeping loudly. Just keep an eye on their behavior for a couple of hours and you'll be able to adjust the temperature by sight and sound.
I don't even rely on a thermometer any more. I hang my heat light where I think it should be and watch to see where the chicks want to hang out. Nobody under the heat, means it's too low to the pen floor. Everybody huddled in the middle, means it's too high.

edit: I should mention that the area being draft free, will make your temperature control much, much easier.
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I'm working with my first batch of chicks right now. I was worried and got a thermometer.

Now that I'm done with the heat lamp I don't think I'd worry about it again. I just do as azelgin suggested. If they're all aggressively huddling near the warmest part, it's too cold. If they're scattered and staying away from the heat, it's too hot.

The best piece of advice I got that made this easy is just to make sure they had enough room to self-regulate. At first I had the lamp dead center and they couldn't find a place too cool down. Once I moved the lamp to 1 side of the brooder and left 1 side cold(er), self-regulation was easy.
I used a thermometer for about a day. Then I realized the chicks would tell me much more than a thermometer could. You can tell when the chicks are comfortable. They'll spread out and peep quietly as they go about their business. If they're too cold they will peep loudly and huddle together. If they're too hot they will try to get as far away from the heat as they can and might even pant.

I used a laser infrared thermometer like yours and mine were pretty scared of the red dot. Now that they're older, they like to chase it.

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