Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Miracle Mike The Headless Chicken

So once upon a time (back in 1945) there was a farmer named Lloyd Olsen who was assigned the rather routine task of preparing a chicken for dinner that evening. He selected a nice rooster, dropped his ax upon it's head and off it went. The chicken then went  through the usual motions of running around, flapping it's wing's but then a funny thing happened. Instead of eventually falling to the ground and accepting his death, the rooster decided that he really didn't need a head anyway and would just go back to the usual routine of being a chicken.

Seeing that the chicken wasn't planning on dying anytime soon, Lloyd decided to lend some assistance by feeding and watering him with a an eye dropper. And so began the amazing story of Mike the headless chicken.

Not long after, a promoter named Hope Wade caught wind of the story and convinced Lloyd that he could make money showing off his headless chicken at sideshows. The chicken took on the name of Miracle Mike, toured across the county and was even featured in Life magazine.

Mike the Headless Chicken

So how does a chicken lose it's head and still manage to stay alive? Well, at some point Lloyd took Mike to the University of Utah so that some scientist could answer this question for him. They came to the conclusion that when Lloyd chopped off his head he had missed the jugular and a clot prevented Mike from bleeding to death. He had also missed most of his brain stem and one hear and since chickens don't have much in the way of higher brain functions, he essentially continued to behave much as he did before.

Amazingly, Mike lived for another 18 months until the fateful night of his death. At a motel in Arizona the Olsens were awoken by the sound of Mike choking. They were not able to find the eyedropper used to clear his esophagus and so a few moments later Mike passed on.

I couldn't find any videos of Miracle Mike which I thought was odd considering the amount of exposure he had received. But I did find a short video of a headless chicken walking about in what looks to be somewhere in Africa.

Hat tip to Amy M for turning me onto the story.

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