Thermometer Drama - experience input?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kangasox, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Kangasox

    Kangasox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2015
    I know everyone worries about temperature in the incubator And I've read and read all I can including threads on here. I have a steady tenperature in a circle air hivabator with 12 duck eggs on day 4 of incubation. But I have two thermometers (well 4, but 2 are off) which are not in agreement.

    I have an incutherm hygrometer/thermometer combo. I did the salt test and the hygrometer is off by 1 percent (reads 1 lower). The thermometer is consistent, but not as quick to catch up, no way to calibrate. At current temp, it's reading 98.4-98.8, Ave 98.6

    I also have a thermapen (meat thermometer!) That the site says also measures air temp. I was able to calibrate it and it reads within .1 degrees. It reads the temp as 99.1 - 100.4, ave 99.75.

    So, I guess I'm looking for an opinion. Keep buying more thermometers? Trust the thermapen? If the hygrometer is 1% off, would that correlate to 1° on the incutherm? I tend to obsess, and don't want to screw up the babies! Also, everyone has a different thermometer recommendation, and I have nowhere to buy one locally. Thanks for any insight.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2015
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Your humidity is not such an issue. Temp can make or break your hatch, even if it's a couple of degrees off. Here's what I do: I use a medical grade digital oral thermometer, and match that to an old fashioned mercury bulb thermometer. (I don't know if you can even buy those any more!) I get a big cup of water that's about 100*, and put the thermometers in, being sure to keep them from touching the sides or bottom of the container. Or, you could put some warm water in a zip lock bag, and fold it in half with the thermometers sandwiched in the middle. I don't think that it's relevant to calibrate a thermometer to 32*, because there could be a fair amount of accuracy drift at higher temps. That's just MY OPINION. Any how, once I get a medical thermometer that I trust, it's fairly easy to compare it to other thermometers by placing them all in the incubator at exactly the same location, or placing them in the incubator in the zip lock sleeve. When using a digital thermometer, it should have a fairly quick recovery rate: show temp changes quickly. It should also register in 1/10* increments. Then, after you have all that figured out, it's time to test your bator with a full load. Before committing eggs, load it up with water bottles to = the intended volume of eggs. Look for warm and cool spots. Even forced air will have variation in temp. After you've stabalized for at least 24 hours, then you can commit eggs to the bator. BUT, once you put them in, don't get alarmed if the temp plummets and stays down. DON'T TOUCH that thermostat for the first 24 hours, unless you have a temp SPIKE.

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