Mike the Headless Chicken

Poultry Celebrity

Fruita farmer Lloyd Olson only wanted a delicious chicken dinner. Instead, his hunger hatched the career of Mike the “Headless Wonder Chicken.” Olson’s ax sliced poor Mike’s head clean off, but missed his brain stem—enough to keep the chicken alive. “Miracle Mike” shook off the blow as if nothing happened. Mike’s tenacity—he lived an additional 18 months—made him a chicken celebrity. He toured the United States in 1945, with eager audiences paying 25 cents to see the acephalous wonder. Today, Fruita remembers Mike with a statue and a festival, held each May. Photo: Mike the Headless Chicken sculpture in Fruita, Colorado. Courtesy Thomas J. Noel.


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