General Notice

15 Mar

Statue for Mike, the headless chicken.
In case it wasn’t obvious in the last FlashCast, my week is a little overwhelming, so please bear with me while the site devolves into the sort of random spurting that usually characterizes my weekend output.

On September 10, 1945, farmer Lloyd Olsen […] had his mother-in-law around for supper and was sent […] to bring back a chicken. Olsen chose a five-and-a-half-month-old cockerel named Mike. The axe missed the jugular vein, leaving one ear and most of the brain stem intact.

Despite Olsen’s botched handiwork, Mike was still able to balance on a perch and walk clumsily; he even attempted to preen and crow, although he could do neither. After the bird did not die, a surprised Mr. Olsen decided to continue to care permanently for Mike, feeding him a mixture of milk and water via an eyedropper; he was also fed small grains of corn.


Mike was on display to the public for an admission cost of 25 cents. At the height of his popularity, the chicken earned US$4,500 per month ($48,000 in 2010 dollars) and was valued at $10,000.


2 Responses to “General Notice”

  1. bmj2k March 15, 2011 at 18:46 #

    Much as I like the design of that statue, I have to wonder why the artist choose to make a chicken.

    • JRD Skinner March 15, 2011 at 19:38 #

      As I understand it, it was constructed in memory of Mike – although I don’t know if it was commissioned, or if the person responsible was simply drawn by the allure of a headless chicken.

      Whatever the case, I love that they included spurs.

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