Who was the headless rooster Mike? History, explanation

Back in 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen actually only wanted to slaughter one of his roosters for a feast. But he would never have dreamed that this would take him from the slaughter table to the show stage. The rooster he beheaded lived on for another 18 months. In the USA, the decapitated rooster named Mike became a superstar and was even more popular than a US president.

At first glance, the small town of Fruita does not show its bloody past. Visitors to the village of 11,000 souls in the middle of the Colorado desert are greeted by huge posters advertising rafting trips, mountain bike tours, dinosaur exhibits and rodeos. But these are far from all the attractions the village has to offer. The main attraction is missing. It attracts thousands of visitors every year on the third weekend of May: the rooster named Mike.

Without much ado, it can be stated that the rooster Mike is probably the most famous son of this town. Although his career lasted only from 1945 to 1947, in that short time he made it to radio, television and even „Life“ and „Time“ magazines. Through Mike, the place became internationally known. The reason why the town does not have a large sign at the entrance to the town advertising the famous rooster is probably due to the fact that this star was not treated with much affection. In fact, Mike’s career began from the moment he was beheaded. Numerous heads of other chickens followed.

The story of the headless rooster Mike

Farmer Lloyd Olsen was expecting his mother-in-law for dinner the next day. As he had done so many times before, the farmer wanted to slaughter a few roosters for the feast on Sept. 10, 1945. This was the beginning of one of the greatest careers a rooster could ever achieve. It lasted exactly 18 months.

Olsen – as always – grabbed the big knife and took on the first rooster, which was five years old. After it was decapitated, it still fluttered a little. The farmer did not find this particularly abnormal, after all, it had always been like this before. After a few seconds it will be over, he thought to himself. Olsen then set to work on the other roosters. After half an hour, however, the first decapitated rooster still did not come to rest. He found it particularly peculiar that even without head and beak it made an effort to peck around on the ground. The next morning, his astonishment was even greater: the rooster had assumed his sleeping position, the phantom head tucked under his wing, breathing and sleeping peacefully.

That’s when the farmer decided to give his rooster the name „Mike.“ He gave him a chance and started feeding him. For this purpose he used an eyedropper with which he pushed a few grains as well as water into Mike’s gullet. He was now counting on Mike’s stomach to break down the grains. Mike had taken all this without any problems and mingled with his comrades and lived as if nothing had happened. Mike’s metabolism also seemed to be working.

The farmer got a little spooked by the rooster after a few days, so he decided to have a medical checkup. He took Mike to Salt Lake City to a university with a department of veterinary medicine. There, chicken bird anatomy came into play, for one thing, as well as – again – his mother-in-law.

Mike made it into the „Guinness“ book

So why did the mother-in-law come into play again? Simple: Olsen knew of her fondness for fried chicken collars. That’s why, on the evening in question, Olsen placed the knife especially high under the head so that he could still save a lot of neck. In a Gallus gallus domesticus, however, the cerebrum sits extremely far down. On the operating table, it turned out that part of the cerebrum was still attached to the body. In the meantime, however, it had sunk rather unrecognizably down between the trachea and the esophagus. The doctors even found an ear there, which was also still intact.

Thus the hype around Mike was now no longer to be held. All reports celebrated him as a star and also the „Guinness“-Book of Records elected him as the official champion. From then on Mike set his foot in show business. First it began with smaller appearances on fairs. For this, visitors paid 25 cents to watch Mike once. Next came appearances on various vaudeville stages between Los Angeles and New York. Olsen collected fees of over $4,500 a month.

The cock Mike had little of his own fame. At least he was able to gain a little more weight. Extremely annoying, however, was the occasional gargle. Using an eyedropper, Olsen sucked fluid from the rooster’s windpipe. One evening, however, when Olsen and Mike were staying at a motel, the pipette was lost. The farmer was then unable to help his rooster and Mike died his second death. He lived to be seven years old; with a head, he probably would not have reached that age.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

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