Flippin out over THERMOMETERS!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kuvasz, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. Kuvasz

    Kuvasz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2010
    First time hatcher here. Bought Miller Still Air incubator for around $45 at the local Southern States. Was using the tiny thermometer that came with it. Kept it right at 100 degrees. Then went out to buy a Walmart Hygrometer, plus thermometer.....the thermometer clearly doesn't work....wondering if the humidity measurement is any better. So, now not trusting that the first thermometer was right either, bought another larger thermometer at Walmart for $2 to try and get a correct reading...now I've got THREE different readings, all varying quite a bit!!

    Last night, trusting the Walmart one before I realized it was prob way off, my temp was probaby at 102-104......although I didn't know it til now because the readings seem to be about 4 degrees off.

    Which thermometer do I trust?

    Has anyone had any experience with the tiny little thermometer that comes with the incubator. Actually I think it might be the more accurate of the 3, but wondering what you all think.

    Have I ruined my eggs with all this flucutation? I guess overall I've been keeping them between 99-100, except for a short while that they shot up to 104-106 this morning...I caught it prob within an hour or less of that spike, and took the lid off immediately.

    I had no idea thermometers would very SO MUCH!! Help! And thanks for sharing your experience!! I keep reminding myself this is supposed to be FUN!! ha!
  2. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    HI, Sorry I cannot help you with the thermometer.......hopefully someone with more experience will.
    I do want to caution you to calibrate your hydrometer
    I bought mine new and didn't with my first hatch.it was way off and I lost the hatch.
    in a cup
    1/2 CUP SALT
    stir.does not have to disolve.
    Put all into a zip lock bag for 12 to 24 hrs.................I used 12
    I know there is a formula for calibrating your themometer.do not know what it is.
    Also.I cannot say if the temp will cause an adverse affect.
    Mine spiked to 112.....thought I had cooked them but they are hatching as we speak and look great.[​IMG]
    Good luck
  3. ky chicks

    ky chicks Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2009
    I know what you mean! I had never hatched before, but my son's teacher asked me for eggs to hatch at school in the incubator she had just bought. I took in 6 eggs that seemed to be developing well, with a consistent temp of 100, but they never hatched. I took in another dozen eggs, and turned up the temp to 102 (I mistakenly thought it was a still air incubator). Only a few progressed much at all, and none hatched. By that point, I was frustrated, and felt a little responsible since they were my eggs, so I asked to take the incubator home to figure the darn thing out over the summer. I bought another thermometer that read 5 degrees higher than the one that came with the incubator! I bought another one, which about matched the 2nd one. So it turns out that we incubated the first batch of eggs at 105 and the 2nd at 107! No wonder they didn't hatch! So now I have 6 eggs in there looking good on day 9. If these don't make it, I'll be REALLY frustrated, but I think I've got it right now.

    I don't know what to tell you about your temp. spikes, since I'm new to this too. I hope you can figure out which thermometer to trust, and my fingers are crossed for good hatches for both of us!
  4. grammy of David

    grammy of David Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 17, 2009
    rural Kansas
    I have 3 thermometer in my incubator and all are different!And the unit I bought at Walmart is probably the same as yours. I think the humidity meter is off on my as well. I did not understand the way to test humidity with the salt etc. I use a CANDY THERMOMETER WHICH I ASSUME IS THE MOST ACCURATE! It registers at 100. Always before I did not have a humidity meter, so just kept trays filled and a wet sponge, then at lock down added more sponges depending on how many eggs were in incubator.
  5. Blooming chicks

    Blooming chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2008
    Bucks County
    I have 2 thermometers and 2 hygrometers--the temps are different by 1/2 degree, hygrometers can be as different as 4-5%. It is really frustrating. I purchased the reptile temp/humidity sets in PetSmart which I felt were more accurate than the little white Walmart combo unit (which I had in there at first and read completely different from the 2 sets I put in later). Good luck with your hatch!
  6. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

    May 15, 2010
    I have bought two of the white ones from Wal-Mart. THEY STINK!!! After checking their accuracy with two digital oral thermometers (that I trust) I took them both back. I got the black/silver one they have and it's dead on. I have one of those in each of my bators. I also recently bought a HovaBator and the thermometer that came with it is dead on too. However, I know a lot of people that say the thermometers that come with your bators aren't good at all. Maybe I just got lucky [​IMG]
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This site sort of tells you how to calibrate a thermometer. I say sort of because they tell you to adjust it if it is off. If you do not have an adjustable one, you have to adjust your reading. If your thermometer is reading too high, you have to take the difference off any reading to get the right temperature. If it reads too low, you add the difference. The boiling point of water varies based on altitude and barometric pressure. That's why the boiling water method of calibrating is not as accurate as the freezing water method.


    Some thermometers, like the ones you get for outside temperature readings, read accurately to within 1 or 2 degrees Fahrenheit. This does not mean they are within 1 or 2 degrees of the right reading. It means if you repeat the reading, it will be within 1 or 2 degrees of what the first reading was. That is why you calibrate them, to know how much to adjust to get the reading within 1 or 2 degrees of correct.

    Some thermometers are sold to be accurate within 0.1 degree. They are obviously more expensive and still have to be calibrated but these are the ones recommended for incubation. A probe type is best because the humidity inside the incubator can affect the digital thermometers that you put in the incubator. Besides how do you calibrate one of the digit one piece units? You can't immerse them in water.

    Next time you are at a store that sells several outdoor type thermometers, look at a few. You will probably see several different readings, sometimes by several degrees, although they are in the same air conditioned environment. When I buy one of those types, I try to get one that reads where the majority of them are.

    Good luck!!
  8. Kuvasz

    Kuvasz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2010
    Thank you to everyone who has replied to this thermometer dilemma! It's been reassuring. Sounds like many people have had successful hatches even with weird temps and off thermometers...so I'm not feeling so distressed like I was yesterday.

    Odd, overnight, without doing anything different..... 2 of the 3 thermometers synchronized, and both said 100 degrees. The hygrometer said 99 degrees...closest they've been....but are they just teaming up on me?? lol

    So, now trying to get them at 101 consistently....so far, so good.

    Thanks to the person who gave me the website that shows how to calibrate therm's! I never heard of that before, and I will def try it later today when there is more time.....right now, out side building the little peeps a coop with the help of my ever patient, supportive, and good sport of a fiance! [​IMG]

    Sure hope my little peeps are doin ok in there, and the temp is ok for them..... has anyone candled brown eggs sooner than what my directions say, which is about 7 -9 days with any results?

    Thanks!!! you guys have been so helpful and encouraging!!
  9. SportChick

    SportChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    I had crazy thermometer issues as well. I had 3 thermometers. The little glass one that came with the incubator, which is the one I ultimately used. A digital combination thermometer/hygrometer meant for cigar humidors and a little reptile dial thermometer that came with a hygrometer. They were so far off it was ridiculous. I moved them around the incubator thinking that my still air must have hot spots and cold spots but they stayed off in the same ways.

    What was even more frustrating was that if I moved them outside the incubator, where my house thermometer read 78 degrees . . . ALL 3 read exactly 78 degrees. I never did figure it out I just stopped using the digital and the dial. The digital always read 5 degrees below the glass thermometer and the dial always read 2-3 degrees above the glass thermometer.

    I am going to try to calibrate them now that you posted that link. My next set of eggs show up in a week.
  10. Kuvasz

    Kuvasz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2010
    Something must've miraculously gone right with all my thermometer and hygrometer issues because as of this morning two of the eggs are pipping and chirping!!!!!!! Whoohooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited --- but so neurotic I can't stand myself!!!!!!!!! lol
    Will post some pics when there is some hatching action to report, and meanwhile, reminding myself 'breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out." lol

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