I chop your head off, you die (unless you're a chicken?)

This is a remarkable story, about a chicken that lived for 18 months after it’s head was chopped off:


How the heck can this happen? The head contains the brain, and is the place where everything is controlled from. If you chop off a humans head, there may be some sign of life for a few seconds, but after that you’re no more.

What’s the deal with chickens? Is their brain surplus to requirments? Wouldn’t the pain and trauma of having your head chopped off, be enough to finish you off? Is this proof that the guilletine was a humane way to die?

In any case, the link above is worth checking out, as it appears to be a truthful story, and it’s is quite an amazing read.

Cecil says this

Thanks for the link, I should have guessed Cecil had a column on this!

Cecil says that the top 2/3rds of the head was chopped off. Looking at the photos on the website, it appers to me as if the entire head has been chopped off. I may be wrong on this though.

I suppose the question is more to do with chickens that have been completely decapitated. I hear stories of these chickens running around for several minutes. Presumably, the brain is complelty gone, so how do they know how to run?

I can’t back this with any scientific answers as to why it happens, but I suggest that you observe it sometime, its really rather amusing to see a chicken run aruond with no head. Especially after one of your duties at work to clean up after the dirty nasty smelly stuipd animals.

I’ve read someplace that some Noblemen sent to the guillotine where so err… full of attitude I guess,… that they managed to purposefully wink a few times after their heads where severed, having announced that they would do so beforehand!
I think it was in a book called “The bloody history of England”
Anybody know anything about this?

oops! before pressing submit I checked the archives and came up with this:

Well, that just about answers my question.

That’ll teach me for not checking the archives. :smack:

IN the case of some invertebrates, loss of the head is almost trivial.

Re-reading that, I realise that it might be read as that I am asserting that a chicken is an invertebrate, which I most definitely am not; everybody knows that a chicken is in fact an amphibian.

Well, they can probably swim better than they can fly. :slight_smile:

Meet the King of the Headless :

Sir Cockroach.


“A cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can’t drink water and dies of thirst”