Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Run Mike, Run!

On my quest to find the weirdest animal behavior, I have come across an old article from the mid 40’s. Have you ever heard about Mike, the headless chicken? Personally I was very surprised when I saw the article. I have witnessed chicken’s head being cut off before; usually after you cut off the chicken’s head it runs around for a couple of minutes, and dies. Mike on the other hand lived for 18 months after he’s head was cut off.

On Monday September 10, 1945 a farmer, Lloyd Olsen, of Fruita, Colorado, was expecting his mother-in-law around for supper. Lloyd was sent out to the yard by his wife to bring back a chicken, but he faild this relatively simple task. Olsen failed to completely decapitate the five-and-a-half month old bird named Mike, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact. Noone expected the chicken to live for a long time or any time at all. Much to everyone’s surprise Mike lived for 18 month.

Some people didn’t believe that it could be possible. Therefore, Mike became famous and went on shows, he raised up to $50,000 a month. The rooster died in Pheonix, 18 months later after a show. He is still famous in the town of Fruita, where they have annual “Mike the headless chicken day”.

The real secret for Mike’s survivel is quite simple, “Post mortem, it was determined that the axe blade had missed the jugular vein and a clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. Although most of his head was severed, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. Since basic functions (breathing, heart-rate, etc) as well as most of a chicken's reflex actions are controlled by the brain stem, Mike was able to remain quite healthy."

Posted by LYRS


At 12:25 PM, Blogger PWH said...

That was really such an unusual article, I can't believe that it's true. In a way I feel bad for Mike because of the pain he must've been in from the rest of his head being chopped off. Although it was an interestin article, I didn't think it related much to animal behavior. I guess there is still that fact that even without a head, the chicken still had the instict to try to crow and attempted abilites to balance on a perch which is impressive.

POsted by KDB

At 3:32 PM, Blogger PWH said...

This is a very interesting article. It is hard to believe, though. It is so impressive to see how Mike survived after this incident. Nice job!

Posted by MIS


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