How to hypnotize a chicken

Did you know it is possible to "hypnotize" a chicken? While it isn't quite as intense as the "zombie virus" that turns caterpillars to goo or crickets to commit suicide by jumping into water, is a lot less morbid.

 WikiHow even has an article detailing how to hypnotize a chicken which is very helpful if you happen to be bored and on a farm. As you can see in the video, it appears to be pretty simple. All you need is a flat surface, chalk (or stick if on soil) and, of course, a chicken.

  • Hold the chicken in one hand by its feet and place it down so that its breast rests on the flat surface so that its head and beak are close to the ground. 
  • Wave the chalk to get the chicken's attention or gently move its head so that it is looking at the chalk. 
  • Draw an 12" or 18" line straight outward from the chickens beak. 
If done correctly, the chicken will stop struggling. Even after releasing the chicken, it will lay on the ground, focused completely on the line. Eventually, the chicken will break free of the "hypnosis" and get up. 

 Why does this even happen? It is not really "hypnotism" at all and is instead something called "tonic immobility" also known as playing dead. It is a defense mechanism that temporary paralyzes the animal when faced with a threat.  

Why drawing a line caused the chicken to enter this state is not clear, however. Maybe it's just from a human pressing it to the ground but drawing the line still appears to trigger the chicken's playing dead response. 

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