And I almost forgot, again from Neuro lecture: Mike the Headless Chicken! (He’s running for President in 2004.)
As the beautiful story goes…
bq(quote).. September 10th, 1945 finds a strapping (but tender) five and a half month old Wyandotte rooster pecking through the dust of Fruita, Colorado. The unsuspecting bird had never looked so delicious as he did that, now famous, day. Clara Olsen was planning on featuring the plump chicken in the evening meal. Husband Lloyd Olsen was sent out, on a very routine mission, to prepare the designated fryer for the pan… A skillful blow was executed and the chicken staggered around like most freshly terminated poultry.
When Olsen found Mike the next morning, sleeping with his “head” under his wing, he decided that if Mike had that much will to live, he would figure out a way to feed and water him. With an eyedropper Mike was given grain and water. It was becoming obvious that Mike was special… It was determined that ax blade had missed the jugular vein and a clot had prevented Mike from bleeding to death. Although most of his head was in a jar, most of his brain stem and one ear was left on his body. Since most of a chicken’s reflex actions are controlled by the brainstem Mike was able to remain quite healthy.
In the 18 MONTHS that Mike lived as “The Headless Wonder Chicken” he grew from a mere 2 1/2 lbs. to nearly 8 lbs. In a Gayle Meyer interview Olsen said Mike was a “robust chicken – a fine specimen of a chicken except for not having a head.” Some longtime Fruita residents, gathered at the Monument Cafe for coffee, also remember Mike – “he was a big fat chicken who didn’t know he didn’t have a head” – “he seemed as happy as any other chicken.”
p. Which just goes to show you: chickens don’t need a brain to live (their brainstem does most of the work), and chickens have no problem getting their heads chopped off. (Sorry, PETA. Don’t hurt me.)