The story of ‘Miracle Mike,’ the chicken that lived without a head


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There once was a chicken who lost his head …

No, these are not the opening lines of a rather macabre fairytale.

This is real and it’s really weird, y’all.

Let’s start again…

There once was a chicken who lost his head to his owner, a farmer named Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, back in 1945. You see, one night, Olsen had decided on having chicken for dinner, as you do. However, since this happened in 1945, instead of going to the store, the farmer went to his backyard, grabbed a big rooster named Mike (did people really used to name their future food? ), put his head on the chopping block, and gave it a whack with a nice sharp ax as he had done countless times before with countless chickens.

But Mike did not die.

Nope. He got up and began to walk around.

With no head!

Well, maybe with just enough head.

See, Olsen did not make the most accurate of chops and when he came down on Mike’s neck he did so in a way that lopped off almost all of his head but left one ear and a bit of Mike’s brainstem and his jugular intact.

He wasn’t running around like a chicken with his head cut off, no, he was strutting around like a chicken with his head very much attached.

So, of course, the Olsens got Mike a gig with a traveling sideshow where he lived and performed for 18 months. He was quite popular.

I would like to say Mike had his happy, headless ever-after, but alas, as with so many stars ,he was found dead in a cheap motel in Phoenix, Arizona in 1947. And thus the legend of Miracle Mike the headless chicken was born.

Did I mention they fed him with an eyedropper by dropping liquid food directly into his exposed esophagus?

They did.

Enjoy this nightmarish video about Mike, if you dare: