So, I Googled it and found tons of information about the questionable tale.
There really is a website dedicated to "Mike the Headless Chicken". On it, of course, there's tons of information about Mike. According to the site, farmer Floyd Olson was tasked with getting a chicken for supper by his wife. In doing his duty, he wanted to make sure he left as much of the neck as possible to score some brownie points with his mother-in-law because her favorite part of the chicken was the neck and she was coming over for supper that very night... so Floyd was aimin' to please, if you know what I mean. Well, according to the story, he aimed so well that he cut off most of the head, but left the brain stem and an ear. **gross**
Then the site says: "When Olsen found Mike the next morning..."
WHAT? The story said he was preping one chicken for supper and his mother-in-law's visit that night. Wasn't his wife upset when he came back without the chicken for her fryin' pan? So, why would he not find the chicken until morning? How do you lose a chicken who's head you've just chopped off so you can have them for supper the same night?
Does not compute.
Now, I can't deny that the story seems to have some validity. According to Wiki and other sites, the story is true and they even go on to explain how Lloyd toured the country with Mike the Chicken and made tons of dough... until one day, as they were traveling through Arizona, Mike started choking, Lloyd didn't have his eyedropper with him and subsequently, Mike met his maker somewhere in the middle of the desert.
HUH? He was traveling around the country with a headless chicken... going from fair to fair and town to town... but he didn't have his life-sustaining eyedropper with him.
Sorry... but I'm just not buying it.
I apologize if I sound cynical right now, but you have to understand something. I'm a farmers daughter. Raising and tending for chickens was my responsiblity from age 8 - 18. And I'm not talking a few chickens either... We had 400 laying hens and raised a 100 or so broilers (chickens grown specifically to eat) every year. My mom and I dressed those broilers every summer when I was growing up... and if the ax didn't do the trick the first time we wouldn't have kept the chicken alive with an eyedropper for eighteen months. We'd have given the ax a second chance or more if necessary. Given that, I can't imagine farmer Lloyd Olson, who was supposedly trying to impress his mother-in-law, giving up after one try... especially when it was allegedly for supper that same night.
What I see is a tourism site wrapped around a really wacked, exaggerated story about a headless chicken. There's an entire festival built around "Mike the Headless Chicken", with a store, a cookbook, a link to find lodging in Mike's hometown of Frutia, Colorado and even a "run like a headless chicken" 5K race in Mike's honor. (which... incidentally... you have to register at the Frutia Rec Dept. site to view the details. )
All that said, I think Frutia knows what they are doing. I mean really... I heard about it in Nashville, TN, was compelled to investigate, and I just wrote an entire post about their gimmick didn't I?!
Can't believe I wrote that much about a headless chicken.
Anyone want to go to Popeye's for lunch?!