A 15-year-old girl from Georgia told social services that her parents locked her in a chicken coop and make her wear a shock collar after she refused to do her school work.
The girl's adoptive parents, Samuel and Diana Franklin, were arrested this week on various child cruelty and false imprisonment charges.
The girl - who the Franklins adopted in 2007 - alleges she was forced to spend up to six days at a time in the small buildings at the back of the family home as a punishment for not finishing her homework.
The youngster was home educated at the rural house in Butler, 85 miles south of Atlanta.
Special Agent Wayne Smith from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told Fox News that he had 'never seen anything like' it.
"If the allegations prove to be true, it's a very severe case," he said.
The runs the girl was reportedly imprisoned in were said to be just 4 feet long and just a few feet high. She said she had been punished in the same way for at least the last two years.
Investigators said the coops were just big enough to sit in, and that chickens were being kept in them when they attended the scene.
Agent Smith said the teenager would be in the chicken runs for extended periods and 'might come out during the day a little bit, come in and shower'.
The authorities were alerted after a tip off, and visited the property with the sheriff's department in May. The same day, Juvenile Court Judge Wayne Jernigan Sr ordered that the girl was removed from the house.
When her parents were arrested, officers found a dog collar in the home which the girl said she had been made to wear. The collar had a remote controlled shock function.
Another sibling lived at the property, while two older children lived elsewhere. The allegations only involved the 15-year-old girl.
Agent Smith said the girl was opening up to investigators and was talking about what had gone on in the house.
"Kind of what has happened is within a few hours of being taken out of that environment, a lot of this began to flow very freely," he said. "You almost have to remove the person from the threat of punishment before they begin to open up to you. That's normal, and that's what has happened here."
Awful! How could adults behave like this towards a child?