The Headless Chicken Day 2019 is on Friday, May 17, 2019: Mike the Headless chicken?

Friday, May 17, 2019 is The Headless Chicken Day 2019. Mike the Headless Chicken - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Mike the Headless Chicken

Mike the Headless chicken?

Here's what I found out according to my 1st source:

Mike (The Headless Chicken) (1945 – 1947) was a Wyandotte rooster (cockerel) that lived for 18 months after his head had been cut off. Many people thought it was a hoax, so its owner took it to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and had it examined, which confirmed that it was not a hoax. [1]

"Mike, Mike - where's your head? Even without it you're not dead!"

—— A well known chant about the famous chicken, heard on children's playgrounds.

The unfortunate incident

On Monday September 10, 1945, farmer Lloyd Olson of Fruita, Colorado, had his mother-in-law around for supper and was sent out to the yard by his wife to bring back a chicken. Unfortunately Olson, trying to pander to his mother-in-law's liking for chicken necks, failed to completely decapitate the five-and-a-half month old bird, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact.

Mike the headless Chicken struts.

Not quite sure what to do with his by now loose head, on the first night after the decapitation Mike slept with it under his wing; it was this touching tenacity to life and the now redundant organ that convinced Olson to reprieve Mike from the cooking pot.

Despite Olson's botched handiwork, the by-now-headless Mike was still able to balance on a perch and walk clumsily; he even attempted to preen and crow, apparently not noticing that neither activity could be accomplished properly without a head. After the bird did not die, a surprised and no doubt guilty Mr. Olson 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. Despite all this, the unfortunate Mike occasionally choked on his own mucus, which the Olson family would clear using a syringe.

When used to his new and unusual centre of mass Mike could easily get himself to the highest perches without falling. His crowing, though, was less impressive and consisted of a gurgling sound made in his throat, leaving him unable to crow at dawn.

Being headless did not stop Mike putting on weight; at the time of his beheading he weighed some 2 1/2 pounds and at the time of his death, this had increased to nearly 8.

Mike becomes famous

Once his fame (or infamy) had been established, Mike began a wild existence of touring sideshows in the illustrious company of such other creatures as a two-headed calf; he was also the subject of various photo opportunities for dozens of magazines and papers. As might be expected, Olson was loudly criticised by the then-equivalent of animal rights activists, who thought that he should have finished the job he had started.

Mike on show

Mike was on display to the public for an admission cost of 25 cents, and at the height of his popularity was earning a princely $4,500 per month. A pickled chicken head was also on display with Mike, but it was not Mike's original head as that had already been eaten by a cat. Mike was later examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering.

Mike's death

Mike & axeman Lloyd Olson.

In March of 1947, at a motel in Phoenix on a stopover while travelling back home from tour, Mike started choking in the middle of the night. As the Olsons had inadvertently left their feeding and cleaning syringes at the sideshow the day before, they were unable to save Mike. For reasons best known to himself, although possibly for financial reasons, Lloyd Olson claimed that he had sold the bird off, resulting in stories of Mike still touring the country as late as 1949.

Post mortem, it was determined that the axe blade had missed the jugular vein and a clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. Although most of his head was severed, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. Since most of a chicken's reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem Mike was able to remain quite healthy.

Mike's legacy in Fruita

Chicken fun at the annual festival

Mike the Headless Chicken is now an institution in Fruita, Colorado, with an annual "Mike the Headless Chicken Day", the third weekend of May, starting in 1999. It is however not clear why Mike's day is not held on the September 10 - the anniversary of the amputation.

Events held include:

* 5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race,

* Egg tosses,

* Pin the Head on the Chicken,

* The Chicken Cluck-Off,

* The classic Chicken Dance, and

* Chicken Bingo in which the numbers were chosen by where chicken droppings fell on a numbered grid.

A wide variety of chicken-based cuisine is also available.

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How did the headless chicken live?

How did the headless chicken live?

Mike the headless chicken is a legendary headless chicken if that's what you're asking about.

The butcher missed the chicken's jugular and some of the brain stem was left. Mike lived for 18 months after his head was chopped off. The part of the brain stem that was left intact could regulate heart rate and breathing so the chicken could live. The home town of Mike celebrates "Mike the headless chicken day" on the 3rd weekend of May.

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