New home built incubator - thermometer discrepancy question

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HEChicken, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    I built an incubator this weekend. I was lucky to have most of the parts sitting around - an Omaha Steaks cooler I got from Freecycle more than a year ago, a computer fan, and so on. I used to keep reptiles and when I raided my supplies, found I have two Repti-Pro thermostats. I used one in the incubator and I have to say it rocks as far as holding temps - it cycles on and off frequently to keep temps almost not moving on the thermometer(s). And this is the problem. I have two analog thermometers. Little round ones with a dial. I have an Acu-Rite digital thermometer, that is cool because I can put the remote sensor in the bator and keep the matching unit outside so I can read it from anywhere in the house. And I have the digital thermometer that came with the hygrometer I purchased at Wally World yesterday.

    Now I know there is a margin of error that is acceptable for all thermometers. But I have a greater than 5 degree discrepancy between highest and lowest and this is driving me nuts because I don't know which one to trust. The hygrometer temp reads the highest. The Acu-Rite digital reads anywhere from 5 to 5.4 degrees lower. The two analog thermometers read 2 degrees apart from one another and fall in between the two digital.

    I have them all sitting in the same place in the incubator.

    So - what do I do? If I go with one of the analog temps and set it for 99.5, the Hygrometer temp reading is 102 or more - higher than I'd like it to be IF it is reading correctly. I know that I'd rather be low than high but what if I end up too low because I'm trusting the wrong thermometer?
     
  2. barefoottrims

    barefoottrims Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    29
    Dec 20, 2010
    I hang my acurite from a string in the middle that way it only reads the air temp not anytemp that may come threw the floor or wall
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Okay, but I guess my question is which of the four thermometer temps should I go with?
     
  4. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm Premium Member

    Do you have a medical thermometer for reference?
     
  5. barefoottrims

    barefoottrims Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    29
    Dec 20, 2010
    [​IMG] I like this one never had a problem with it
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    7,544
    172
    316
    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:That's a great idea! Are you talking one of the mercury thermometers that our mothers made us stick under our tongue for ages when we were sick, or one of the new-fangled ear thermometers? I'm guessing the former but haven't seen one of them in forever. They're still available at the pharmacy though right? And you think they're more accurate than any of the other kinds?
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  7. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm Premium Member

    I jam one of these threw the side of the incubator. $3
    [​IMG]

    Probe inside, button an readout outside. I use it to test actual temp an watch the others to show changes in temp. They have to be more accurate than weather thermometers an you can test them by sticking them in your mouth.
     
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Hmm what you need is a NSF foodservice thermometer that can be calibrated using either a cup of ice water or boiling water (known absolute temps)!!! A candy thermometer might also work, but they rarely read below 100*F so you would have to figure a way to compare it with the other thermometers somewhere that is warmer than room temp without being above the other thermometer's upper range limit.
    Then you can use it to compare the other thermometers to.
     
  9. robnms

    robnms Chillin' With My Peeps

    207
    1
    101
    Jul 9, 2010
    Gulf Coast MS
    I don't know what the best is but I also have 4 thermometers and they all read different, I have a Fluckers that reads high on temp and low on humidity, a Springfield from Wally World that reads high temps and humidity, the cheap glass one that came with the bator and another digital one I bought from RadioShack (19.99) that has inside and outside temps with humidity and that's the one I go by and it worked great on my first hatch and it's also close to the temp on the old glass type. These happen to be the first 2 themometers I had on my first hatch so I know that they're close enough to accurate to have a good hatch. You have to pick one and go from there till you learn which one to trust. Just my 2 cents!!!!

    This is a bad time of year to keep temps and humidity perfect because the heater in the house dries the air and inside temps are up and down due to the weather, at least that's what I noticed on my 2nd hatch.
     
  10. robnms

    robnms Chillin' With My Peeps

    207
    1
    101
    Jul 9, 2010
    Gulf Coast MS
    Quote:That reminds me, we have a digital themometer that you use in a babies ear, I'm gonna try it and see what it reads.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by