Hypnotizing people is strange and dubious, and often involves the person willingly allowing oneself to be hypnotized. But animals, especially small ones like chickens, are often easily hypnotized — or at least immobilized — by simple and strange techniques which have been used by humans over the centuries.
Typically a chicken is hypnotized by holding its head down against the ground, and continuously drawing a line along the ground with a stick or a finger, starting at its beak and extending straight outward in front of the chicken. If the chicken is hypnotized in this manner, it will remain immobile for somewhere between 15 seconds and 30 minutes, continuing to stare at the line.
According to Wikipedia:
This technique is useful for farmers who need to slaughter a chicken and do not have help immediately available. The first known written reference for this method came in 1646, in Mirabile Experimentum de Imaginatione Gallinae by Athanasius Kircher.
Another technique of hypnosis is to hold the chicken face up with its back on the ground, and then run your finger vertically downwards from the chicken’s wattles to just above its vent. The chicken’s feet are exposed, which allows easy application of medication for foot mites, etc. To wake up the chicken, clap your hands or give the chicken a gentle shove.
Check out this video of people hypnotizing a chicken:
Don’t worry or think this is terribly inhumane, in fact this is one of the best ways to relax a chicken. Throughout history and modern times chicken hypnosis has taken on a variety of methods, even famous people (below) created their own innovative methods:
Al Gore, former U.S. vice-president, Nobel peace prize winner and ex-presidential candidate. Mr. Gore appears to have used a non-orthodox technique, consisting of drawing imaginary circles around the chicken’s head.
In an interview with Will Smith during taping of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Smith discussed how he raised chickens as a boy and was fascinated by putting one of his chickens into hypnosis.