Friday, May 28, 2010

Mike The Headless Chicken

I really wish I was kidding about this one.
Let's go back to September 10th, 1945 in the very small rural town of Fruita, Colorado.  Lloyd Olsen's wife, Clara, sends him out to kill a chicken for dinner.   Lloyd fells the axe on the chicken's neck.  The head comes off and the chicken, oblivious to the loss of his head, keeps right on going about his bird business.  When Lloyd found him alive and well, sans head, the next morning, he decided to let the bird live and fed him with an eye dropper to keep him going.  

They named him Mike and Mike became so famous that for the remaining 18 months of his headless life, he hit celebrity status; he even wound up in both Time and Life Magazine.


That celebrity status became legend and now there is an annual Mike the Headless Chicken festival in Fruita, during the third weekend of May.  The festival features a lawn mower race, chicken dance contest, eating contests, chicken games (like pin the head on the chicken and an egg toss), 5k run, a car show and a 'Good Egg' award, among several other interests.   

If you would like to know more about it, he has his own website:

Alternate titles for this post:
the afterlife of a chicken
it just wouldn't die
and in other news... chicken defies death
axe me again
life after death
stranger than fiction


meno said...

And so the chicken became a politician.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Meno beat me to it. I was thinking the same thing as who else could carry on without a head?

What a bizarre story.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hi Meno!

Welcome! You nailed it; spot on. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have men of honor, integrity and values running the country?


Too true. Very bizzare indeed. What's really crazy is that they continue to have this festival every year and people come from all over the place. Seriously!
It doesn't take much to come up with a reason to party; so it seems.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

Kay McKenzie Cooke said...

That's weirdly fascinating! Puts a whole new slant on the phrase 'as crazy as a headless chook'. :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Doesn't it Kay?

So crazy!!
I didn't go to the festival.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

mou said...

hey...'wandered' onto your blog via the mysterious black box and am loving going through it.

especially loved the humour (er...or sadness? cause the poor chicken is sans its head) in this post...

take care...and keep posting :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Welcome Mou!

Thank you! Isn't that black box something else?

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

nick said...

Hang on, how could a headless chicken survive for 18 months? How could it eat without a beak? Was food stuffed down what was left of its gullet? *puzzled*

I like the idea of a Headless Chicken Festival though. As long as there's no actual headless poultry, since I'm a vegetarian.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hey Nick!

Thanks for dropping by!
The guy fed the chicken through his gullet, as you thought, with an eye dropper: the one pictured.

I don't think I'm ever going to go to the festival.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore