why do chickens get hypnotized by drawing a straight line?


why do chickens get hypnotized by drawing a straight line?

In: 844


The scientific name for this is tonic immobility and is something some animals do if they think they are about to die, as a last ditch effort to avoid danger. Possums famously do this when they get scared.

One theory about the line method in particular is that the chicken thinks it sees a snake, though this isn’t proven. And there are other methods of getting a chicken to enter a “hypnotized state” including tucking its head under its wing as though it’s sleeping

This trick led to an infamous radio station caller in my country : [On the Air](https://youtu.be/2TOR895yhIw)

There’s a bunch of evolutionary stuff we’ve bred into chickens over the last few thousand years. I’ve seen a chicken respond to a loud clap while getting chased by dropping to the ground and slightly opening their wings. It makes them easier to catch and pick up but it’s hard coded into their genetics. Was really weird to watch

I don’t have a reference for this, but what I’ve heard is that drawing the line in the dirt essentially simulates the feeling and experience of being dragged through the dirt, like what would happen if caught by a predator. So going immobile like that is a last ditch defense mechanism.