Mike the headless chicken that lived for 18 months after a failed slaughter attempt

Mike was supposed to be dinner for farmer Lloyd Olsen's family. However, when Olsen tried to behead Mike, he missed the jugular vein, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact. Even after losing his head, Mike could still balance on a perch and walk clumsily.

Mike the headless chicken was an American chicken. It was also called ‘Miracle Mike’, because it lived for long 18 months though it had not its head. Finally, Mike died in 1947.

Mike was a male chicken that lived for an astonishing 18 months even after his head was cut off.

Born on April 20, 1945, in Fruita, Colorado, Mike was supposed to be dinner for farmer Lloyd Olsen’s family. However, when Olsen tried to behead Mike, he missed the jugular vein, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact. Even after losing his head, Mike could still balance on a perch and walk clumsily. This miraculous survival was due to most of his brain stem remaining intact and a blood clot preventing him from bleeding to death.

Olsen decided to care for Mike, feeding him a mixture of milk and water via an eyedropper, and giving him small grains of corn and worms.

Mike’s unique condition brought him national fame, leading him to tour sideshows with other anomalies. He was even featured in Time and Life magazines.

Mike the headless chicken passed away in March 1947 when he choked on a kernel of corn. His legacy lives on in Fruita, where an annual “Mike the Headless Chicken Day” is held in his honour.

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