In this article, the winner of the math competition answered this question correctly:

In a barn, 100 chicks sit peacefully in a circle. Suddenly, each chick randomly pecks the chick immediately to its left or right. What is the expected number of unpecked chicks?

The answer was given as 25. I am interested to know the correct method for solving this problem as well as a general way to find this out for N chicks. I was thinking of trying to solve by figuring out the number of occurrences of (something?) inside a binary string of length 100 (or N), but I don't know if that is the right way to approach it.