If it wasn’t for Lloyd Olsen’s desire to please his mother-in-law, the world wouldn’t have had the chance to see a chicken that survived being decapitated.
It was September 10, 1945, when Lloyd Olson’s mother-in-law was about to come to her daughter’s house in Fruita, Colorado for dinner.
They loved fried chicken, so Lloyd Olsen cut off the head of Mike, a 4-month-old chicken for this purpose.
But the talented butcher did it a little better and most of the chicken’s neck was spared, and when the chicken, weighing more than a kilogram, came out of the shock of the decapitation, it started walking around as usual.
The chicken’s charm of survival saved it from being part of the dinner table, but Lloyd Olsen left it to die in an empty box.
When the box was opened the next morning, the Circuitta chicken was still alive.
So why did this happen?
As Lloyd Olsen drives into town to sell dozens of chickens in a horse-drawn carriage, he decides to take Mike with him.
Years later, Lloyd’s great-grandson Tory Waters said in an interview that while in town, Lloyd Olson bet people that he had a live circuitata chicken.
On September 19, he presented the chicken during a press conference in Salt Lake City.
On this occasion, he said that every morning we expect Mike to be dead but he is still healthy.
He added that it seems that Mike does not know that his head has been cut off.
There, experts from the University of Utah examined Mike to see how he survived despite the severed head.
They discovered that most of Mike’s brain and one ear were in the surviving aorta while a clot stopped the bleeding from the wound, allowing him to survive.
A few years later, scientists shed more light on Mike’s survival.
According to experts at the University of Arkansas, the chicken skull has a large hole for the eyes, due to which most of the brain is tilted at a 45-degree angle.
Similarly, Newcastle University researchers reported that the front of a chicken’s head has very little brain, so even if part of the head is cut off, most of it remains, allowing it to breathe. Moves around, digests food and can do a lot more.
But here is also the question that after cutting off the head, how was it possible to deliver the food to the body? So did Lloyd Olsen.
Mike’s esophagus was working well, so his owner would feed him water, milk and grain through a dropper, which eventually increased the chicken’s weight to about 3.5 kg.
Mike’s popularity and death
Lloyd Olsen, along with his friend Hope Weed, performed street mike shows for 25 cents.
The rooster also received fan letters from Alaska and India, while Life magazine published an entire article on it.
One night in January 1947, the chicken’s airway became blocked and Lloyd Olson failed to open it in time, resulting in Mike’s death within minutes.
According to Tori Waters, her great-grandfather hid Mike’s death from people for a while.
There is still a statue of Mike in Fruita and an annual festival is held in his memory.