#On This Day – Chickens

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

#OnThisDay

On 10 September 1945 Mike, a Wyandotte Chicken, was selected for dinner by Colorado farmer Lloyd Olsen. Selected for the chop Mike’s head was swiftly dispatched from his body. But, the axe missed Mike’s jugular, most of his brain stem and one ear. This meant that Mike was able to walk, perch, peck and to some extent ‘crow’. Rising to fame as ‘Mike the Headless Chicken’, Olsen toured sideshows with his famed chuck, earning around $50,000 a month (today’s equivalent). In March 1947 Mike unfortunately chocked to death on a kernel of corn, eighteen months after his decapitation.

But, did you know that the unexpected history of chickens is actually all about: rituals and culture, technology and development, class distinction and land ownership, female empowerment and agency, misunderstandings and necessity, oh … and metaphorical symbolism? If you didn’t check out our podcast!

Or why not read our magazine post on the history of cock-fighting written by our superb Plymouth University history intern!

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