How Long Can a Chicken Live Without a Head: In the 1940s in the United States, a chicken named Mike lived for 18 months without a head. He had been nearly completely beheaded with an ax, but crucially the jugular vein and most of the brainstem remained intact.
This allowed essential brain functions, such as breathing, to continue to perform correctly. In addition, Mike was fed with a dropper through the neck.
Is it the only case? Not really. A recent case occurred in March of this year. A headless chicken in Mueang Ratchaburi, in central Thailand, lived for more than a week. A local veterinarian took care of the animal, throwing food around his neck, in addition to administering antibiotics. The way the chicken lost its head is unknown, but locals say it may have been attacked by another animal.
How Can a Chicken Live Without a Head? At least two factors must be met:
- First, the height at which the cut is made. In Mike’s case, the cerebellum and medulla oblongata were left intact, sufficient for essential functions such as breathing and pumping blood from the heart.
- The second factor is that it forms a clot of blood that prevents bleeding from the cut end to the life of the animal. This is how Mike survived.
After Mike, several farmers tried to cut the heads of their chickens, but by not making the precise cut some died days later. Mike’s case was and has been unique to this day.
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