Mike, The Headless Chicken

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Believe It Or Not: Mike the Headless Chicken

This is not a hoax, folks: Following a non-lethal decapitation, Mike the headless chicken, later nicknamed "Miracle Mike," lived for approximately 18 months. Here he is, "dancing" in 1945.

Feeding Time

Mike is fed through eyedropper, directly to his esophagus. Apparently the ax that was meant to make him dinner for a family in Colorado missed his jugular vein, and left its brain stem intact.

Playtime for the Birds

Mike in his Colorado barnyard, with other chickens. The miracle animal also toured sideshows during the 18 months after its decapitation.

Mike With His Head

According to some accounts, the day the ax fell, Mike slept with his head under his wing.

Mike Stands Proud

Starting in 1999, the chicken's "hometown" of Fruita, Colorado, has held a "Mike the Headless Chicken" Day. It's the third weekend in May, with events including an egg toss and "Pin the Head on the Chicken."

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