On September 10, 1945, a chicken belonging to Lloyd Olsen of Fruita, Colorado, USA, had its head chopped off, but went on to survive for 18 months. Mike's owner fed and watered the headless chicken directly into his gullet using an eyedropper.
Sceptical scientists thought it was a hoax, so one week into Mike-the-headless-chicken's physically-altered life, farmer Lloyd Olsen packed Mike up and took him to the University Of Utah in Salt Lake City. The axe blade, scientists discovered, had missed the rooster's jugular vein, and a clot had saved it from bleeding to death.
Because Lloyd had aimed the axe so high, most of the brain stem was left at the top of the spine. One ear had also survived. Mike, it seemed, had lost the power to see and to cluck, but could still hear and think.
Mike eventually choked to death one night in an Arizona motel.
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