The Curious Case of Mike the Headless Chicken

In the annals of bizarre and unbelievable tales, the story of Mike the Headless Chicken stands out as one of the most remarkable. Mike, also known as Miracle Mike, was a rooster who survived for 18 months after having his head chopped off. The story of Mike has become a legend, and it continues to fascinate and intrigue people to this day.

Mike’s story begins in 1945, in Fruita, Colorado, where Lloyd Olsen, a local farmer, was preparing to slaughter some of his chickens for dinner. One of the birds, a young rooster, caught Olsen’s eye, and he decided to make it his next meal. Olsen took the rooster, who was later named Mike, and decapitated him with a hatchet. However, to Olsen’s astonishment, the bird didn’t die. Instead, Mike managed to stand up and run around, much to the shock and horror of Olsen and his family.

After the initial shock had subsided, the Olsens decided to see how long Mike could survive without his head. They fed him with an eyedropper and water from a syringe, and soon they discovered that the bird was still capable of sleeping, preening, and crowing. He even tried to peck at the ground for food, even though he had no beak to do so.

News of Mike’s miraculous survival soon spread, and people came from far and wide to see the headless chicken. The Olsens began charging 25 cents per person to see Mike, and the bird quickly became a local celebrity. He even went on tour, traveling to different cities and appearing on national television.

Despite his fame, Mike’s survival wasn’t without its challenges. The Olsens had to be careful when feeding him, as they had to make sure the water and food went down the hole in his neck instead of his nonexistent mouth. They also had to protect him from predators, as he couldn’t see or defend himself.

Unfortunately, Mike’s life came to an abrupt end in March 1947, when he choked to death in a motel room in Phoenix, Arizona. The Olsens had taken him on tour and were feeding him with an eyedropper as usual when a kernel of corn became lodged in his throat. Despite their best efforts, they were unable to dislodge it, and Mike passed away.

Despite the tragic ending to Mike’s story, he remains an iconic figure to this day. His story has been the subject of books, documentaries, and even a festival in Fruita, Colorado. While the story of Mike the Headless Chicken may seem unbelievable, it serves as a reminder of the resilience and adaptability of living creatures, even in the face of extreme adversity.

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