How to Hypnotize a Chicken





Introduction: How to Hypnotize a Chicken

Why, you may ask, would one WANT to hypnotize a chicken?  You, sir or madam, are asking the wrong question.  The answer to that one is of course, "Why wouldn't you want to hypnotize a chicken!?"  The interrobang is required in that sentence.

The correct question is "How can I be a part of this grand experiment?"  The answer, my friends, is contained herein.  

First, a video demonstration:

Step 1: Gather Materials

To explore this bizarre phenomenon, you will need:
  1. A chicken
  2. A stick
  3. Some help, as this is a two person job
  4. Some drinks wouldn't hurt, and would probably add to your enjoyment of the next step.

Step 2: Catch a Chicken

My brother keeps a few hens, but this turned out to be more difficult than I imagined.  After spending half an hour alternately running and sneaking around his yard, making weird little cooing noises at these ridiculous birds, we were flummoxed.  Eventually, Ted lured them back into the coop with food and then reached in through the back door to grab one by the legs.  Why didn't he do this the first time, before releasing them?  I do not know.

Step 3: Lay the Chicken on Its Side

Hold the chicken on its side in a bare patch of dirt.  The important part here is to hold its head down to the ground.

Step 4: Draw a Line

Making quick movements with a small twig, draw a line about a foot long away from the chicken's head.

Step 5: Observe in Awe!

If all has gone well, the chicken will remain staring at the line for 15-30 seconds!  Voila, you have hypnotized a chicken!

Step 6: Wait, What Just Happened?

Well, I'm not exactly sure.  I am no biologist.  According to the wikipedia page on chicken hypnotism, this is a similar phenomenon to a deer freezing when hit by a strong beam of light; it's an attempt to avoid a predator by pretending to be dead.  I suspect that's right, chickens are both extremely stupid and very skittish, so this sort of massive overreaction just seems in line with my (admittedly limited) experience with chickens.

Step 7: Final Thoughts

Thanks for taking the time to read about my exploits.

I had seen a video about this on youtube about a year ago, and my brother and I have been talking about seeing if it is real ever since.  We took the time this weekend to find out, and lo and behold, it was true!  

Have you ever hypnotized a chicken?  If so, post a video link in the comments below so we can see, and I'll send you an electronic patch for your profile!

Please take a minute to rate, subscribe, comment and follow me on facebook, I love hearing back from people and I've always got lots more in the works!

**** Update 4/6/12:  Thanks to everyone who's mentioned in the comments that this brings back fond memories of childhood or farm life!  I'm glad my humble little instructable could spark recollections of good times.



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    Sorry about the bad quality, Also it would be useful to have a second person to hold the camera

    Nice! Thanks for sharing, patch is on the way!

    I understand that this was made forever ago, but I would like to point out that you were slightly cruel to the chicken. I am not criticizing, but I love animals. Chickens are fairly dumb, and that is the way they are usually treated. Very nice instructable!

    I've done it before, but you don't need a stick, you can just use your finger.

    try flip their head between one of their wings...
    then hold your chicken by both hands in both side of their wings which still flip their head, and move it gently around...

    sorry for bad english :D

    Dang, I'd love to try that, but my brother finally got rid of all his chickens!

    well il be blanged, you actually can hypnotize a chicken!

    I use to do some thing like this as kid, its not hard, we flip the chicken over then take finger point at the chicken and move it in and out, you want chicken to look at it, move in so it cross its eyes this seems short something out in its head and it start closing its eyes if get your finger in right spot for bit ( that sounds bad) it will fall a sleep, lay it on ground and it stay for some time or someone or something make loud sound or moves it

    I just wanted to say that I have chickens and they're actually pretty smart. I don't know if it's the particular breeds that I have (Modern Game BBs, Americaunas, Cochins, Buttercups, Silkies), but they all know their names, come when you call them, and go into the coops when you tell them it's "time for bed."

    Of course, we DID hand raise them with tons of human interaction, so maybe that's it. And please don't flame me, I'm sure there are some really stupid ones, too. I'm just saying that they aren't all idiots. :)