Talk:Chicken hypnotism

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My dad used to do this. - Ta bu shi da yu 04:13, 12 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I mention a related matter in passing on my own web site [1], [2] -- Jmabel 03:56, Sep 25, 2004 (UTC)

Are there any citations for the claims that Hellmut Kohl and Al Gore have hypnotized chickens? If this weren't from someone who has made good edits elsewhere, I would suspect vandalism; as it is, I'll tentatively assume the contributor knows what he/she is talking about, but would like to know where the information comes from. -- Jmabel | Talk 01:51, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Apologies for the lack of clarity; rather than dump all the info here, I have put it into the relevant biogs. Perhaps it should be the other way about? The Helmut Kohl info comes from Stern magazine (13 Sept 1996, so no online ref), and I put it here. The Gore stuff comes from here [3] -- although I couldn't find it yesterday, but have just located it, hurrah. So, I'll hold off on adding it to an article till I get an answer on where you think it ought to go. In case you're wondering, I don't know of any other ex-statesmen who have hypnotised chickens, but that might be because they (rather sensibly, perhaps) keep quiet about it... Garrick92 11:42, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Just added some *more* stuff wot I found. Stop me before I strike again ... Garrick92 12:27, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

cleaned up?[edit]

I came to this from the old-articles-needing-cleanup page and threw out everything that looked squirrely, third-hand, and a joke. The article sounded more like a nudge-nudge-wink-wink college newspaper column than an encyclopedia article. Perhaps I went too far removing the Helmut Kohl and Albert Gore stuff, but "famous people have done this, honest" doesn't seem terribly encyclopedia-ic. - DavidWBrooks 17:18, 2 September 2005 (UTC)

  • David's edit. I think that anyone looking up chicken hypnotism would have been interested in plenty of what he removed, but this is pretty low on my priority list, so I'm just leaving a note. -- Jmabel | Talk 21:06, September 3, 2005 (UTC)
    • I agree, but then I would, wouldn't I? I'm also nonplussed by your removal of the Iggy Pop ref. The Gore stuff, I think, also belonged in the article: it quoted Gore himself, and gave an alternate method of hypnotism to the one described. The Kohl one, similarly, came from his sister interviewed in a reputable journal.

Characterising these bits as 'famous people have done this, honest' is narrowminded, petty, and silly. Perhaps you ought to take out the Kircher bit, because that could be 'Famous people have written about this, honest'.

Oh, hang on, is the Iggy Pop bit gone because it comes under 'Famous people have sung about this, honest'?

I honestly despair of the self-appointed Wikipedia Gods. Nuff said.

Garrick92 17:49, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Then, why not replace those parts that you think deserve to be here, generating well-written, cogent summaries which even a grump like me couldn't object to! As I noted, I may have gone too far; imperfection is possible. - DavidWBrooks 18:12, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
I restored the mentions of Kohl and Gore, since I think this topic sounds like an urban legend, and the notable people mentioning how to do it - particularly the link to the Gore story - lend credulity to the article and may reduce the number of people who reject the topic out of hand. Tempshill 21:45, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Crocodile/alligator charming[edit]

Isn't there something similar that some people do with these creatures? I think they stroke the belly or something similar. --MacRusgail 18:20, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

I tend to doubt that. Before you can get close enough to do that, you have other things on your mind than that, I guess. Too bad we cant ask Steve Irwin anymore. - Redmess 08:23, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Not Hypnosis?[edit]

This is NOT hypnosis! It is a case of the chicken feigning death, similar to a turtle moving into its shell, or a deer freezing from a spotlight. Hypnosis is a completely different state of the mind.

If I had time to find sources to cite this, I would. But hopefully some future editor who sees this will take the time out of their day to grab the sources needed to verify what I've just said. Regardless, I am editing the entry to reflect this information, as I know it to be true. — Eric Herboso 16:47, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

I've removed your statement, only because it's so very strong (basically, it says that most people's understanding is in error) that it needs sourcing before we include it. I hope somebody finds a source for the material, though, because it's fascinating. - DavidWBrooks 20:12, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
.:sigh:. Okay, I did a quick search on google for "tonic immobility chicken" and got thousands of hits. The top entry is here, though many others follow. In the article I quoted, some demented researcher proved that chickens are more apt to go into this paralysis if they have lesions. In other words, he beat a bunch of chickens and retested the 'tonic immobility' only to find they stayed in that state for longer periods of time. Which is further evidence that it is just a weak attempt at feigning death when afraid of being killed. As a vegetarian and animal rights activist, I HATE the idea of giving hits to this paper, because the scientist who did the work was quite sick, but since I must give references, here you go. There are many other google hits under 'tonic immobility', as it is called in the literature. If you feel particularly moral today, feel free to find an alternate paper to cite instead. (My friend here says to give the guy some slack, as he was writing in the 70s, but really: can you imagine beating chickens to see if it affects how long they stay still? That's just wrong, no matter what the year is.) (PS: You may also want to link to tonic immobility as well. Happy editing.) — Eric Herboso 22:12, 27 April 2007 (UTC)
I've reinstated the edit, with a reference. — Eric Herboso 15:35, 15 May 2007 (UTC)
I have put the complete phrase of the reference "" "Altough some believe that the reaction may represent the prototype of human hypnosis, others hold that the resposnse may represent the terminal reaction in a series of sequentially dependent predator defenses."

We cannot in any case safely state that Hypnosis in man is completely unrelated to these states that could be animal prototypesof some observable behaviours. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hypno1964 (talkcontribs) 03:50, 6 April 2010 (UTC)


Even this article is not a joke, it's written in a style that makes it seem silly. It needs a bit of help in that. Estridaldrea (talk) 19:20, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Great - go ahead! - DavidWBrooks (talk) 21:52, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

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The German Chancellors Chicken Hypnosis Method[edit]

In an article by Michael Ballhaus titled "Helmut war ein wilder Bub" (Helmut was a wild boy) the author cites an interview with his sister. This interview was provided to me by request to the STERN magazine and mailed to me. I cite the relevant passage:

STERN: Welche Tiere mag er besonders?

GETREY: Als Kind hat er ja mit Begeisterung Hasen gezüchtet. Seinem Lieblingshasen hat er sogar beigebracht, Männchen zu machen. Und ein Huhn hat er hypnotisiert, indem er es über einen Kreidestrich laufen ließ. Seinen Schäferhund Igo, den er als Ministerpräsident hatte, hat er abgöttisch geliebt.

which translates as:

"STERN: Which animals does he especially like?

GETREY: As a child, he loved to breed rabbits. He even taught his favourite rabbit to sit up and beg. An he hypnotized a chicken by making it walk on a line he drew with chalk. His German Shepherd Dog Igo, he had a Ministerial president...."

Now, this leaves some ambiguity, because making a chicken "walk on a line drawn with chalk" is probably NOT an effective methode to induce hypnosis. I therefore conclude that his sister simply falsely remebered the event and that Mr. Kohls preferred methode of chicken hypnosis is the classical one. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:38, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Pepi knows a much better way to hypnotize a chicken, which does not involve "pressing his head into the ground" but is a much more gentle exercise. No props are needed either. Does anybody else know how to do it?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:07, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Pix or it didn't happen[edit]

Or video probably. Anyone got anything or can film anything? Dysmorodrepanis (talk) 02:00, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

Curious article[edit]

This is a curious article. I do not understand why it is called 'hypnotism' when it is clearly 'tonic immobility'. It has been used for for many years now in animal behaviour science as it indicates the level of fearfulness immediately preceeding being placed into tonic immobility. The longer the hen remains in tonic immobility, the more fearful she was prior to the induction (and this can be longer than the article states). We have used this as a tool to improve welfare by, for example, looking at tonic immobility after transport, or after being housed in different housing systems. It has been shown that the hen remains totally conscious throughout the period of immobility - which is sensible because the bird can then escape from the situation (predator) placing it in tonic immobility. I can of course provide references for these, but would rather not link science to an article describing this as 'hypnotism'.DrChrissy (talk) 17:20, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

History Section[edit]

Only one line in the history section is actually related to history. The alternative methods of hypnotism should be elsewhere. (talk) 11:42, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Good point - I've tweaked it a bit. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 14:20, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

No need to draw a line from its beak.[edit]

Take a chicken and lay it down on its back and hold it there for a short while (gently). As long as nothing is happening to disturb the chicken, it will lay there for some time. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:52, 1 February 2014 (UTC)

I have removed Will Smith from this list[edit]

There's no source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:52, 26 September 2014 (UTC)