Mike the Headless Chicken Lived for 2 Years After Its Head Was Cut Off

The story about Mike the Headless Chicken is a strange one. It sounds like it’s filled with magic and surreal elements, but it actually makes perfect sense once you know all the details.

In 1945, a Colorado farmer named Lloyd Olsen was getting ready to kill one of his chickens so his wife could make dinner. He selected a male Wyandotte named Mike and proceeded to behead him. However, his beheading attempt wasn’t entirely successful.

Despite Olsen removing a large portion of Mike’s head, the chicken didn’t die. Instead, it started walking around, albeit clumsily. Taking this as a miracle, Olsen spared Mike and even took care of him, giving the chicken food and water using syringes and other tools.

It didn’t take long before the word about Mike the Headless Chicken spread around. Olsen recognized an opportunity and decided to take the chicken on tour across the United States. For the following 18 months, Mike and Olsen traveled with other touring sideshows and apparently earned $4,500 on a monthly basis, which would be equivalent to $64,203 in 2024.

One version of the story indicates that Mike died in 1947 in the middle of the night after a corn kernel got stuck in his throat. However, Olsen claimed that he sold the chicken, but there is no strong evidence supporting this claim.

Now, you must be wondering how a chicken managed to survive almost two years without its head.

According to experts, Olsen cut most of Mike’s head, but the chicken’s jugular vein was intact, as well as its brain steam. Additionally, a blood clot prevented it from bleeding to death. All of this and Olsen’s feeding assistance enabled the chicken to survive for such a long time.

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