HELP!! 3 Thermometers & 2 Different reading? Which one is right?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by SilkieBaby, Feb 3, 2010.

  1. SilkieBaby

    SilkieBaby Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Bakersville, NC
    Ok... so I received my eggs today and they have been resting comfortably since arriving in NC from PA. My plans were to put them in the bator first thing in the morning. I've had the bator running and the new digital thermometer that I just bought is reading 99.7 to 100.1 and the humidity at 50%. My DH remembered the old mercury thermometer that come with the bator that I'm using (Hovabator 1602N that a friend is letting me borrow). So DH puts the mercury thermometer in the bator and we let it get up to temp. It is saying around 94 degrees. Well I started getting a little nervous so I got the digital thermometer out of the fish tank and put the probe in the is reading 94 just like the "old" mercury thermometer. So is this new one that I bought that much off? It's making me question the humidity reading now! Which one do I trust?

  2. megcpat

    megcpat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2010
    You could be telling the story of my first incubating adventure - only we had three different temps. Two of our thermometers had probes that we could place in water, so we poured a little distilled water into a cup with ice and placed the probes in nearly the same place in the cup and found that one was nearly dead on for 32 degrees (the temp of frozen water) and the other was a degree high. I used the one that was nearly right on and compared it to the one in the bator and found that it was nearly FOUR degrees off!!! It was well worth the bother of the ice water test.
  3. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    Even in a forced air bator you can temp differences. Try switching the locations of your thermometers to see what they say. Do the ice water test if you have probes. Can you stick a digital medical thermometer in through a hole or something?
  4. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    You need to compare them with a more pecise thermometer....a good one to use is a digital medical thermometer (the kind you check for a fever with, but not the ear-type).

    Set a small cup of water in the incubator for a couple of's just got to be big enough to hold a little water. Once the cup of water has come up to the incubator's ambient temperature and before removing the top of the incubator take notes of the temperatures of your other thermometers. Next, quickly open the incubator and take the temperature of the cup of water with the medical thermometer. Compare this reading with your other thermometers and you should see how far off they might be.

    Simply picking between several thermometers of unknown precision/calibration (even if a couple of them agree with each other) can still result in using a bad temperature. Three wrongs don't make a right. [​IMG]

    If you have something like a water wiggler you could put a small hole in the side of your incubator bottom and stick the probe of the medical thermometer through the side and into the wiggler and leave it there for occasional "precision" spot checks leaving your other thermometer(s) inside for the casual "walk by and note the temp".

    Best wishes,

    ETA: Measure temperature at "top of egg". When comparing thermometers have them more or less in the same area and height.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
  5. SilkieBaby

    SilkieBaby Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 15, 2009
    Bakersville, NC
    Thanks guys for all your help!! When I got up this morning the two digital thermometers were reading within 1 degree. I went ahead and put the eggs in the bator. This is my first hatch so I know that it cannot be perfect but I'm hoping and praying for the best!


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