Ground control to Major Tom.

Today’s post heading would be SO much funnier if we had poults…damn. I do love me a well-conceived pun. (And it’s all your fault, Dad.)

Brooding outside is more work than I had anticipated. Even inside the coop, the variables are countless, compounded by the switch to a cooler brooder in conjunction with the Brinsea. I find myself checking on the chicks often, not because they’re not okay, but because they mightn’t be okay.

My friend who got chicks from the same batch as I did had a brilliant idea; a remote thermometer. Most of the concerns with brooding very young chicks, once you’ve installed reliable feeding and watering systems, have to do with temperature. Is it too hot? Too cold? Is there too much wind blowing through the coop today? Should I put fleece over the top of the crate, or will that make them too hot? And how hot is too hot, anyway?

The model she bought has a wireless unit that one places outside, and it reports conditions to the monitor inside, up to a distance of 165ft. Hmmm. That was cutting it close, I was pretty sure. So, I asked The Man: how far is the inside of the coop from the kitchen? His answer: 150 to 200ft.

Poopypants.

I could get the simpler, less expensive model and take my chances, or I could bite the bullet and pay three times as much for the unit with a range of 300ft. Which is what I did.

This thing is a monster:

(And, no, it’s not that blurry in real life. My camera is having a terrible time taking a good photo of the screen, for some reason. You’ve no idea how many times I tried. I give up.)

So, I can now check the temperature of the brooder (at the edge of the 100w light, but not directly under it) from the kitchen. And it is good. I brought it up to the bedroom last night so I could open my eyes in the morning, see that the chicks were okay and grab another ten minutes, but…out of range.

Poopypants. Get out of bed, you lazy princess.

Having matched the readout in the kitchen to the behaviour in the brooder, it seems that temps in the 70s are optimal. The chicks seem their happiest and quietest in this range, active and sleepy in turn, as it should be.

This model connects wirelessly with the atomic clock, and, through that connection, forecast the weather, which I thought was pretty cool.

But…will it forecast the weather inside the brooder?

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