Miracle Mike: the Headless Chicken Who Wouldn’t Die

Usually the term “walking dead” conjures a picture of horrible rambling zombies, but for a brief time in the 1940s, America’s imagination was captured by a different kind of walking dead—Miracle Mike, the headless chicken.
Lloyd and Clara Olsen. Source: Olsen Family
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It all began on a farm in Fruita, Colorado, September 10, 1045.

They did this all time, the Olsens

The farmer, Lloyd Olsen, was heading to market the next day to sell some chickens, and was getting them ready. By cutting off their heads.

They did this all time, the Olsens. Poultry was one of the things their farm grew. Lloyd would decapitate the birds, and his wife Clara would clean them. There were about 50 chickens to process that day. Piece of cake.

A group of chickens being prepared for killing.

All was going fine until Lloyd noticed that one of the chickens was acting a little funny. Lloyd was used to the simple routine: raise axe, lower axe, chicken stops moving.

It was the proverbial chicken running around with its head cut off

But this chicken was different. Years later, their grandson, Troy Waters — who still farms in Fruita — loves telling the story. “They got down to the end and had one who was still alive, up and walking around.”

It was the proverbial chicken running around with its head cut off. That was pretty special, but not unheard of. We’ll get to that later. What made this particular chicken special is that it didn’t stop. It just kept running around and didn’t stop.


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