On September 10, 1945, Mr. Lloyd Olsen chopped the head off an unnamed rooster. The next day, the same rooster was found strutting around and earned the name Mike. The Olsens fed Mike by dripping a gruel mixture down his throat and and started earning more than $4, 500 ($44,000 today) a month from exhibiting him. Enough brain stem was left on Mike to allow him to continue normally: gurgling out crows and attempting to preen. Mike gained 5 1/2 pounds and lived for 18 months. While on a national tour, Mike chocked to death on his mucus when the Olsens could not find the eyedropper they used to regularly clear his throat.
In honor of Mike, the town of Fruita, Colorado holds an annual Mike the Headless Chicken Festival. Events include a 5k "run like a chicken with your head cut off."
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