When Lloyd Olsen and his wife Clara butchered over 50 animals on 10 September 1945, one of them didn't die.
Every May, Colorado celebrates Mike the Headless Chicken Festival in Fruita, and this year is its 18th anniversary. The annual event commemorates the miracle that happened in a farm in Colorado where a farmer chopped the head of a chicken, but didn’t kill it.
The chicken lived for 18 months and became the talk of the town.
When Lloyd Olsen and his wife Clara butchered over 50 animals on 10 September 1945, one of them didn’t die.
“They got down to the end and had one who was still alive, up and walking around,” said the couple’s great-grandson, Troy Waters.
“He took the chicken carcasses to town to sell them at the meat market,” Waters told BBC News.
“He took this rooster with him – and back then he was still using the horse and wagon quite a bit. He threw it in the wagon, took the chicken in with him and started betting people beer or something that he had a live headless chicken,” Waters’ wife added.
“Back then in the 1940s, they had a small farm and were struggling. Lloyd said, ‘What the hell – we might as well,'” Waters admitted.
So how is this all possible? Unlike humans, chickens’ brains are not located in its head; it is mostly concentrated behind a chicken’s eyes, which is at the back of its skull.
“You’d be amazed how little brain there is in the front of the head of a chicken,” said Smulders.
Furthermore, reports suggest that Miracle Mike survived because his brain stem is still attached to its body. And that’s the only thing it needs to fully function, as the brain stem represents the entire brain.
“Most of the bird brain as we know it now would actually be considered the brain stem back then,” Smulders ascertained.
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