Mother nature is as scary as she is beautiful. Probably none would've even thought that any organism could live with its head severed until they first observed the cockroach walk around with its head cut off. Here's a story of a rooster that survived the beheading and went on to live for the next 18 months, eating, breathing and all! For the owner who just wanted to sell its meat, it was the proverbial goose that laid golden eggs! This surely had to be a miracle!
1. When? Where?
It was on 10 September 1945, that Lloyd and Clara Olsen, a farmer couple of Fruita Colorado, who generally beheaded chicken to sell their flesh away discovered that their chicken Mike had survived the beheading. He was up and walking around with no signs of pain!
Dr. Tom Smulders, a chicken expert at New Castle University reckons that there is very little brain in the actual head (front) of the chicken. Most of it is at the base of the skull, behind the eyes and that when mike was beheaded about 80% of his brain was left behind that control the fowl's bodily functions! Moreover, a timely blood clot was the reason for Mike to not die of bleeding.
After his head was detached, Mike was fed with liquid food and water that were dropped directly into the esophagus (food pipe) through a dropper. Another thing hat helped Mike was the frequent clearing of mucus from his throat which the Olsens did with a syringe.
4. Other chickens beheaded unsuccessfully!
Soon after people heard of Miracle Mike, they too tried to repeat the process by asking Olsen to show them exactly how it was done! In return, Olsen would get a six-pack beer!
5. Profit off the miracle!
This chicken without a head became a golden egg-laying goose for Mr. Olsen! he often took it to the market to bet with people that he had a headless chicken and won some money. But the real fortune came when a sideshow promoter, Hope Wade took the Olsen and the chicken cross-country holding shows!
After touring many places, in the spring of 1947, Olsen took Mike to Phoenix. There, one night they heard Mike choking on his mucus. They tried to find the syringe that cleared it but they had left it at the sideshow. That's how it ended for poor Mike.
7. Headless chicken festival
Since 1999, every year the Mike the Headless Chicken Day is held in Fruita, Colorado on the third weekend of May, as an homage to the chicken's extraordinary ability and will to survive despite losing its head. Several fun events are held on these days.