(Part One is Here)

As every year winter has come... and as every year the hunt for hats and secret has started. So, following the recent events in the Tavern I was following the Chicken tracks back to the Winter Bash site.

Sadly with all the snow, following our little feathered fellow tracks was harder than expected, so I was just snooping around, looking for (chicken) Easter Eggs, and as every year the common test check-list that purple one provided was yielding nothing noteworthy (5 years later, still no dancing cats / bjb animation fro inputting the Konami code on the bash site...).

Then, I remembered sometime ago someone implied something about a Turkey hat possibly be considered as a secret hat for this year. And since secret hats have been historically know to have an url like


I tried with


Nothing, page not found.

Then, it came to me. What about trying with.... The Chicken?


This time the results were different. I got this. enter image description here

An access denied sign and a chicken? That's.. weird.

So, my pony human friend, I am left wondering. Is that just a minor taunt balpha left there knowing some Derpy user would probably try what I tried or is that a clue to uncover the greater secret of the Winter Chicken of the Bash?

So, as Shadow pointed out in his reply, the response code seems to follow the joke (497 Not a Chicken). Currently no other clue was discovered.

To increase visibility, I will add here what other users already tried to do to see if anything triggers a different result:

  • change your username to Chicken and access the link
  • try with the somehow related "https://winterbash2017.stackexchange.com/teapot" version (the old Not-a-teapot html error code joke)
  • append parameters like "?Chicken=1" to the query string
  • change the user agent string to "Chicken"
  • added "Chicken" to the request headers
  • Related: winterbash2017.stackexchange.com/hat gives 404 as text, not the custom page. This was the case all the years though, nothing new. Dec 13, 2017 at 13:30
  • @ShadowWizard I know, that is one of the reasons I was surprised when the chicken returned a custom reply too.
    – SPArcheon
    Dec 13, 2017 at 13:42
  • 1
    Another interesting tidbit i noticed about the cikcen is, it has a negative user ID, it's -197. https://chat.meta.stackexchange.com/users/-197/chicken Dec 13, 2017 at 13:43
  • @zack6849 that just means it's a system user, same as Feeds. Any moderator can create those, give them name and avatar, etc. If this was ordinary user it wouldn't cause so much fuss. Dec 13, 2017 at 13:44
  • Ah, didn't know that was common for system users, -- disregard then :) Dec 13, 2017 at 13:45
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the question is now obsolete but should be preserved for historical reasons
    – SPArcheon
    Jan 8, 2018 at 14:34
  • Appending "?Chicken=1" doesn't work.. It will redirect you to winterbash2017.stackexchange.com.
    – user298438
    Jun 18, 2018 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


You missed this:

status code screenshot

Which means the page returns error code:

497 Not a Chicken

So I'm afraid this means... this is not a Chicken.

  • Changing your username doesn't do anything, nor does User-Agent: Chicken.
    – Stijn
    Dec 13, 2017 at 11:56
  • Adding a cookie Chicken with value 1 or true doesn't do anything, nor adding ?Chicken=1 as URL parameter. Dec 13, 2017 at 12:00
  • 2
    "Not a Chicken". That sounds suspiciously like "Not a Robot". And since a robot has been known to get that badge... should we send a chicken to the next Stack Overflow event? Dec 13, 2017 at 12:54
  • 3
    UserAgent: Rooster?
    – jscs
    Dec 13, 2017 at 13:24
  • Interestingly, the official spec for HTTP 497 is HTTP request to an HTTPS endpoint, unfortunately the protocol is already HTTPS, I tried removing Upgrade-Insecure-Requests: 1 and switching the protocol to HTTP, but there's no response :( Dec 13, 2017 at 13:30
  • 2
    I am pretty sure you're wasting your time... don't think this page can give anything, it's just a sign we're in the wrong direction to the secret hat. Dec 13, 2017 at 13:35
  • @zack yeah, noticed that too, but I think the dev (balpha) just used some random uncommon code, not related to the official spec of it. Dec 13, 2017 at 13:36
  • Any recent movies with chickens? Dec 13, 2017 at 13:36
  • 4
    I somewhat thought "Not a Chicken" is a parody of "I'm a teapot" Dec 13, 2017 at 14:09
  • Chicken run comes to mind, but it's not recent Dec 13, 2017 at 14:13
  • @PatrickHofman There are 40+ movies with chicken in the title Dec 13, 2017 at 16:17
  • Posting user-id as -197 doesn't work. Neither does passing -197 as a GET argument or a POST argument with the same name.
    – Zoe
    Dec 16, 2017 at 10:23
  • I love that it returns the unicode 🚫🐔 Dec 19, 2017 at 14:36
  • FYI, winterbash2017.stackexchange.com/%F0%9F%90%94 doesn't work either. Dec 19, 2017 at 14:49
  • With the chicken icon being fascinated for me, I think "Not a Chicken" just means "Not a Light Rail".
    – user298438
    Jun 18, 2018 at 2:19

And here it is, in all its glory.

enter image description here

finally, years after my original request the Konami code works.

But since I try every year... They had to mix it a little.

The code is

up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B

notice the reversed B and A button. Probably a reference to an old TMNT game that altered the original code.

Anyway here is the Chicken. And who knows, maybe there is more to the story.

And in GIF:

chicken animation

  • 4
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES) – Entering the code at the turtle-select screen with the A and B buttons reversed gives access to a stage select/option mode and is the only way to change the options in the game; otherwise, the player will start on normal difficulty with three spare lives. [...]"
    – Stijn
    Dec 19, 2017 at 14:05
  • 1
    Checking the Chrome's Developer Console, sometimes it returns youtube.com/watch?v=msSc7Mv0QHY instead of the shadow chicken. Also, no need for "Enter/Return" key, the script was triggered after pressing "B". Dec 19, 2017 at 14:09
  • 1
    I can confirm the chicken.... Dec 19, 2017 at 14:11
  • 9
    This. Is. Amazing. Dec 19, 2017 at 14:11
  • Oh, no! My worries of the Chicken in the snow are confirmed! Somebody rescue it before it's too late!
    – hat
    Dec 19, 2017 at 14:18
  • No need for Return after the sequence. Dec 19, 2017 at 15:11
  • that is... weird? David claimed he already tried that without the return key and got nothing. But now it indeed works. Maybe balpha?
    – SPArcheon
    Dec 19, 2017 at 15:26
  • @SPArchaeologist when you got nothing, you actually got a link to the YouTube video I mentioned in my previous comment on the browser's console. Dec 19, 2017 at 15:28
  • It is falling asleep?
    – EMBarbosa
    Dec 19, 2017 at 16:37
  • 2
    Now that I think about it..... this doesn't answer the question about the suspicious link and "Not a Chicken" :p Dec 20, 2017 at 7:07
  • Just in case anyone else is thinking this couldn't be the end of the treasure hunt: I decoded the two SVG data URIs that make up the pecking chicken animation on the page, and opened the results in Inkscape to check them for mischief. They're boringly normal. No secret object IDs, occluded path elements, or anything. Just a chicken body, and a chicken head.
    – Anko
    Dec 27, 2017 at 23:15

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