Miracle Mike:  The chicken that lived for 18 months without a head

Miracle Mike : The Headless Chicken

Mike The Headless Chicken lived for 18 months without it’s head portion even after the farmer, in a failed attempt at slaughter, axed off his head. Farmer Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, invited his mother-in-law over dinner on September 10, 1945. Little did he know, the bird he chose, would be nicknamed “Miracle Mike” and was going to gain him fame and money in the coming future.

Miracle Mike

Olsen’s wife had requested him to fetch a chicken from their yard, where they had more than 40 hens. In preparation for his wife to clean and prepare the meal, Olsen beheaded the chicken and left it to die.

Troy Waters, the couple’s great-grandson, claims that to his (Olsen) amazement, when his wife went into the yard to grab the dead chicken, she saw the bird was still alive, up, and moving around. The creature refused being put to death, and after briefly rushing around the yard, it calmed down and pretended nothing had happened.

The chicken even made an attempt to peck for grains, but it was unsuccessful (clearly since it didn’t have a head). Olsen then made the decision to leave the chicken alone and put it in an apple box that was stored on the farm’s porch for the night. The following morning, Olsen awoke and went outside to check. However, the tiny creature was still alive. Then he made the decision to take care of it.

With an eye dropper, “Miracle Mike” was fed milk and water solution along with corn kernels and worms.

Mike survived the beheading only because the farmer’s axe missed Mike’s jugular vein, and so the chicken only suffered minor injuries, including losing his sight and a portion of his brain that wasn’t in charge of his body’s essential functions. Mike, though, walked and moved incoherently.

Soon, a local newspaper published an article about the unusual chicken, Olsen was approached with a proposal to tour the country with the headless chicken. As they moved between places, their journey got underway and Mike’s fame increased.

Mike quickly rose to great popularity. Along with being published in Times and Life magazines, he was also photographed for a large number of publications. Mike was displayed for the general public to view for an admission fee of 25 cents. Olsen earned above $4,500 a month during the height of his fame (equivalent to $60,000 now).

Also, Mike was estimated to be worth above $10,000. Unfortunately, Mike began choking in the middle of the night on March 17, 1947, at a motel in Phoenix while returning from a slideshow. A kernel of corn had gotten stuck in his throat.

Additionally, The Olsens were unable to save Mike since they unknowingly left their feeding and cleaning instruments at the sideshow the day before.

Explanation for the case

According to wikipedia, the jugular vein was found to have been missed by the axe, and Mike was saved from bleeding to death by a clot. Even though half of his skull was lost, his body still had most of his brain stem and one of his ears. Mike was able to maintain good health since the brain stem regulates essential bodily functions like breathing and heart rate as well as the majority of a chicken’s reflex actions. This is a nice illustration of how central motor generators allow for the execution of fundamental homeostatic processes in the absence of higher brain centres.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

Btw, did you know that Ants Commit Suicide?

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