Meet Miracle Mike – World Famous Headless Rooster

In 1945, a genuine miracle happened on the farm of Clara and Lloyd Olsen in the dusty town of Fruita, Colorado. On the fateful day of September 10, the Olsen’s were having Clara’s mother join them for dinner. Clara dispatched Lloyd to grab a chicken for the evening meal.


So, Lloyd picked a fine young rooster, lined up his ax, and cut off the chicken’s head. However, instead of dying, the now-headless rooster stumbled around for a moment, shook off the blow and continued on his merry way.

Lloyd was shocked, but simply selected another chicken for dinner that night.

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The next morning the headless chicken, who would soon become known as Mike, was still alive. Lloyd let him live and began feeding him grain using a medicine dropper.

To find out how the chicken survived decapitation, Lloyd loaded Mike in his truck and drove 250 miles to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The professors there determined that the ax had missed Mike’s jugular vein and a clot had stopped Mike from bleeding out. Most of Mike’s brainstem was also intact, which allowed him to continue living a more or less healthy life.

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In short time Mike was dubbed “The Headless Wonder Chicken”. He even had his own managers and made appearances in Life and Time Magazine. Mike was even insured for $10,000.

18 months after he first lost his head, sometime in the middle of the night, Mike began choking. Something had slipped down his exposed esophagus. Sadly, they were unable to save Mike in time.

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While he may no longer be with us, the legacy of Miracle Mike the headless chicken lives on. For the past 17 years, the residents of Fruita have held an annual festival to honor the most famous headless chicken who ever lived.

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