13 October 2020

Spooky SLC: Weird Chicken Tales

Mike the headless chicken from www.miketheheadlesschicken.org

SLC has a history of freaky chicken encounters. Here is a selection of a few weird chicken tales:

Of course, the most famous chicken is Mike the Headless Chicken from Fruita, Colorado. Farmer Lloyd Olsen was sent to kill a chicken for dinner but bungled the chopping of the head. The result was a living and breathing headless chicken- most of the brain stem was still intact.

Ten days later, Mike the Headless Chicken went on tour and his first stop was SLC, which occurred on Sept 18 1945. Admission was 25 cents and his severed head was displayed in a bottle of preservative while he put on “a strutting exhibition.” Scientists from the University of Utah were also given the chance to examine Mike. Mike died in 1947 while on tour in Phoenix.

Joe was half chicken and half duck owned by SLC grocer Will L. Price. In 1904, Price kept Joe in his store which featured a small menagerie. Joe had a head like a rooster with a high comb, small round eyes, and a chicken beak. The neck was covered with thick plumage of chicken feathers of a golden brown. About the center of the bird these feathers changed to those of a duck which shed water and were white in color. Joe’s legs were scaly like a chicken but the feet were partially webbed like a duck. He crowed like a rooster but also made a sound like a quack of a duck. Joe walked like a duck but would not go into water. In 1904 Joe was sold to a man who said he was going to exhibit Joe at the Worlds Fair in St Louis.

Weird Egg
On Oct 11 1920, a White Leghorn hen, owned by William Hatfield of Murray, made the local news when she laid an egg inside of an egg. The giant egg measured 8 inches in circumference and when broken was found to contain another perfectly formed egg of average size. Only the inner egg contained a yolk.

Sources: Deseret News 1945-09-19, SL Telegram 1904-04-01; SL Telegram 1920-10-13

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