This may sound weird, but it is actually true. And in case you are wondering (as I obviously did) why you haven’t heard of this since, it is because it happened far before even when most of our parents were born.
“Mike” became “the Headless Chicken” on September 10th, 1945 after being decapitated by his owner, Lloyd Olsen from Fruita, Colorado, who wanted to cook him for dinner. Olsen chose from his yard, a five-and-a-half-month-old cockerel named “Mike”.
During Mike’s attempted decapitation, Lloyd hit all the wrong (or right) spots, leaving Mike headless but still alive. The axe missed the jugular vein, leaving one ear and most of the
brain stem intact. Despite Olsen’s failed attempt to behead Mike, Mike was still able to balance on a perch and walk clumsily; he even attempted to preen and crow, although he could do neither. When the bird did not die, Mr. Olsen, who was surprised, decided to continue to care permanently for Mike, feeding him a mixture of milk and water via an eyedropper; he was also fed small grains of corn.
When used to his new and unusual centre of mass, Mike could easily get himself to the highest perches without falling. His crowing, though, consisted of a gurgling sound made in his throat. Mike also spent his time attempting to preen and peck for food with his neck. Mike shook off the upsetting incident and shortly after, started pecking around and grooming his feathers as if nothing had happened. Well, he couldn’t really do all those things because without a head the bird couldn’t eat, drink or see but that didn’t stop him from trying! After feeding him grains and quenching his thirst, Olsen took Mike to the University of Utah where flabbergasted scientists took a close look at the death-defying chicken.
According to reports, a blood clot prevented Mike from bleeding to death after Olsen’s axe had missed the jugular. As if by miracle, Mike was still left with his left ear and most of his brain stem intact which was enough to keep this feathered critter healthy for the following two years of his life. Apparently chicken’s reflexes lie in their brain stem which explains why Mike still attempted to peck and even sing – gurgle rather, despite his handicap. Olsen swore to take care of him for the rest of his life, feeding him milk and water with syringes. Mike was doing so well, he even gained weight determining Lloyd to call him a “robust chicken – a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.” Once his fame had been established, Mike began a career of touring sideshows in the company of such other creatures as a two-headed calf. He was also photographed for dozens of magazines and papers, featuring in Time and Life magazines. Mike was on display to the public for an admission cost of twenty five cents. At the height of his popularity, the chicken earned USD 4,500 per month ($48,000 in 2010 dollars) and was valued at $10,000.Olsen’s success resulted in a wave of copycat chicken beheading, but no other chicken lived for more than a day or two.
But alas like every abnormality of nature, nothing lasts forever.
In March 1947, at a motel in Phoenix on stopover while travelling back from tour, Mike started choking in the middle of the night. The Olsens had inadvertently left their feeding and cleaning syringes at the sideshow the day before, and so were unable to save Mike. Olsen claimed that he had sold the bird off, resulting in stories of Mike still touring the country as late as 1949. Other sources say that the chicken’s severed trachea could not take in enough air properly to be able to breathe; and therefore choked to death in the motel.
Culled from YNaija.com