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The Amazing, true story of this famous fowl dates back to September 10, 1945 when Mike, a young Wyandotte rooster, was about to become the dinner of Fruita, Colorado, farmer Lloyd Olsen.
With a sharp ax in hand, Mr. Olsen firmly held Mike, preparing to make the bird ready for his wife Clara's cooking pot. Mr. Olsen swung the implement, thereby lopping off poor Mike's head. Mike shook off the event, then continued trying to peck for food.
Olsen hired Mike a manager, who took him on tour around the country. Mike was pictured in a Life magazine spread and listed in the Guiness Book of Records. He was a popular attraction until he choked to death on a corn kernel in an Arizona motel.
Mike was on display to the public for an admission cost of 25 cents, and at the height of his popularity was earning a princely $4,500 per month ($47,271.69 in 2005 dollars). A pickled chicken head was also on display with Mike, but it was not Mike's original head as a cat had already eaten it. Mike was later examined by the officers of several humane societies and was declared to have been free from suffering.