Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chicken Trance

My husband has been trolling You Tube again. I am not a fan of it, but he loves it. The other day he was researching how to humanely slaughter our chickens. We recently acquired 30 Cornish Cross chickens to raise for meat. We trying our hand at being chicken farmers. Let's just say, we've got a lot to learn!

While researching he came across video after video of chicken farmers and owners who hypnotize their chickens. He thought he'd give it a go. I promise you that the chicks to the left and below are completely okay. They were not hurt at all. I was worried about them. I mean, my husband put them on their backs, softly stroked their chests and they were left in this position. I did some Googling of my own and found this article regarding hypnotizing chickens. There are a zillion more articles and videos that result as well. Once my husband clapped loudly, the little ladies hopped up, shook out their feathers and were fine. The method he tried was the Sternum Stroke Method. True to it's name. Then he tried the Oscillating Finger Method, where you simply oscillate your finger in front of the chickens face, slowly, while gently holding the chicken in a prone position. Lastly, the Chalk Line Method, where you draw a chalk line from the bird's face, while gently holding the chicken down, and moving outward. Some on You Tube say it's a depth perception thing that the chickens use to find bugs and such. Another article-writer says she saw a Discovery Channel show about it and it has something to do with playing dead. It doesn't matter why, I suppose, because I was amazed, but I just couldn't encourage his goofiness, so I kept calling him crazy, while giggling. We do have older chickens that he plans on trying to hypnotize later on today. He tried yesterday but our three-year-old kept yelling, "Daddy, NO!!!" - even after my husbands attempts at reassuring him that the chicken would be fine.

I did have to make sure that my husband, who thought he was the next big thing, didn't let the chicks lie like that for too long. They are only chicks and I was a bit freaked out. They were left like that long enough for a photo op and then they were released from their hold.

You might be thinking how this would be useful to a chicken farmer. Well, we want to clip our chickens' wings so that they do not fly out of the fenced area and over to our neighbor's houses. We love our free-ranging chickens, but our neighbors don't necessarily love the birds in their yards. And in case you're wondering about the wing-clipping, it does not hurt the chicken. It's like clipping fingernails, or so I've been told.

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