Tool of the month: Infrared thermometer

Name: Infrared thermometer 

Cost: around $85 

Available at pharmacies

Intended use

An infrared thermometer device is used to measure body temperature.

Standard body temperature in day-old chicks

Chick body temperature is the most critical factor for bird health and performance. Young chicks depend mainly on their environment to maintain body temperature at the desired level. After 3 to 4 days of age, chicks can regulate their body temperature within certain limits by increasing or decreasing heat production or feed intake. Monitoring body temperature in young chicks helps environmental temperature management in the first week. The average navel temperature for a day-old chick is 39.5 to 40.5 ˚C (103.1 – 104.9 ˚F), and this value for the rectal temperature is 40 – 40.5 ˚C (104.0 – 104.9 ˚F). Body temperature can be measured with an infrared ear thermometer at the navel of young chicks or in the cloaca with a small rectal thermometer. 

How does it work?

An infrared thermometer measures the infrared heat generated by the chick’s navel (blow away the down) and surrounding tissues. Operators can hold the probe tip in their fist for a few minutes to warm it up to a temperature close to the chick’s body temperature to avoid inaccurate temperature measurements. When the device is placed in the navel area, it continuously monitors the infrared energy. When the thermometer detects that an accurate temperature measurement has been taken, the measurement will finish scanning, displaying the result.

Using the device

To use an infrared thermometer (e.g. ThermoScan) to measure a chick’s temperature, follow the following steps:

  1. Separate the device from the case or cap
  2. Press the Power button
  3. Attach lens filter
  4. Place the filter in the chick’s navel area
  5. Press the Start button
  6. Read the temperature
  7. Eject and dispose the lens filter

About the author(s)

Research Associate at Poultry Innovation Partnership | + posts