Waterbed Thermostat for Chick *Bator* ?


11 Years
Aug 4, 2008
Camden, AR
Has anyone used a Waterbed Thermostat in their home-made incubator?

How well did it work? What problems, if any, did you have?

Gong to be building MissPrissy's Bator this winter, and would rather use something a bit more acurate than the Hot Water Heater thermostats, if it's possible.

I've also thought about using the water bed heater, but I'm not sure if it would work..... any opinions or experience stories to share?

Dang it! That sounds like a GREAT idea! I had one a few years back and I threw it in the dumpster thermostat and all! I wish I would have thought to hang on to it.
I would use a water wiggler to make sure that gets set to the correct temputure though!

Where could you buy one if you gonna make one using a water bed thermostat?
We were cleaning out the garage last week preparing for a yard sale and I found one that is about 15 years old but has never been opened. My husband wanted to put it in the sell pile but I wouldn't let him because... you guessed it....making another incubator! Was going to ask Miss Prissy's advice first though. Someone beat me to it.

I also thought of using it under part of the brooder instead of having a heat lamp hanging. By putting it under half, the chicks could still get off of the heat if it was too warm.
What is the temp. range of the thermostat?

I'd have to go look at the box. The other thing that has me thinking is that mine is so big. It was for a King sized water bed so it's like 3 feet long. That's one big incubator or brooder for alot of chicks. (wasn't Ideal selling off chicks, 200 for $36 bucks) Someone PLEASE STOP ME!!
Their Other Mother - You are thinking about the heater. The heater is the long flat rubber-looking thingy. It's about 12 inches wide, and two to three feet long. The thermostat is the controller that is secured to the outside of the bed with the dial on it, and usually a red light to indicate when the heater is on. The heater plugs into the thermostat, and then the thermostat plugs into the wall outlet.

You could always roll up one end of the heater, and place a wire cage around it; both to keep it from unrolling, and to keep the babies from getting inside the roll and getting stuck. You would also need to put sand over on top of the heater in the brooder cage. The sand will act as a heat sink, keeping warm, but the babies wouldn't get burned as easily, not to mention scratching and pecking at it, and possibly getting electrocuted. But I think, with the right safeguards, it would work real well.

I was thinking about running one of the heaters around three of the sides of the bator, with hardware cloth spaced out in front an inch or two to keep the chicks from pecking it, or getting burned. Hubby was thinking about running it down underneath the eggs, and up one or both sides, also with some hardware cloth to keep the babies from getting hurt.

As for the range of the thermostat, mine runs from down in the 70's to about 120 degrees. Ours is marked for every two degrees, so it SHOULD be a lot simpler to adjust to a much smaller range than the HWH thermostats. With the probe being about two feet long, you could just about place it anywhere you wanted to. Wonder if you could put That Probe inside a water wiggler with the thermometer probe to regulate when it turns on and off??

Sticks22 - I'd look for one in the second-hand stores, and failing there, would go to the furniture stores. Any of the ones that sell/sold waterbeds would have all the accessories. We had to replace our liner and heater about 18 months ago, and found one no problem.

MissPrissy - Any opinions on how this would work best?

Wonder if you could put That Probe inside a water wiggler with the thermometer probe to regulate when it turns on and off?

No, you couldn't do that.

You need the probe to measure the AIR temp. inside the incubator. If you put it in a wiggler you would alternately fry and freeze the eggs.

Temp range sounds good tho.​
You are right, it is the heater and the thermostadt. Sounds like you have it all figured out. Only I would put an empty feed bag layered with shavings on top instead of sand. Easier to clean up I think. I started using the feed bags as liners because they are heavier and disposable.

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