Chickens have the ability to feel a wide variety of emotions. Although it is unclear whether chickens feel sadness when humans take their eggs, scientists do know that they are capable of empathy, experiencing fear, having distinct personalities, and more.
An emotional experience is one that occurs on many levels: behavioral, physiological, cognitive, and some extent of sentience. It has been shown that birds experience both positive and negative emotions and that chickens specifically experience emotions in anticipation of an event, this is called the “anticipatory emotional response.”
Chickens can certainly be affected by the emotional or mental disposition of their owners. This is because the way the human interacts with their animals will likely be influenced by their emotional state at the time.