Thermometers are good for several things however not needed when brooding, unless the chicks are in a smaller totaly enclosed system such as the incubator for the forst day or two. When they come out of the incubator and into a brooder - heat is essential to their wellbeing for the next few days especially. Getting it right is as easy as pie!

The ovals below are the brooder - Red dot is water - Blue bar is food - and the yellow circle in the center is the heat source. Black dots are the chicks as they respond the conditions in the brooder.



Too cold: As you can see the chicks (black dots) are huddled under the heat (yellow circle). Avoiding water (red circle) and showing little interest in food (blue rectangle). In this situation I would lower the heat source closer to the ground and check again in 5 minutes. Keep lowering it until the ideal temp is found.





Too hot: The chicks are trying to stay away from the heat source, hitting the water hard. Raise the heat source a little and keep checking every five minutes until the right temp is found.




Too drafty: Chicks are keeping to one side of brood area and staying close to the brooder shield. Light a match and find out where the draft originates.




Ideal brood temp: Chicks are evenly disbursed throughout brood area, eating and drinking normally.

Pat yourself on the back, you are brooding like a professional.