Fascinating True Stories From the Flip Side of History

On the Web Since 1994

Podcasting Since January 2008

Lazarus, the Headless Rooster

One of my favorites stories of all time is that of Mike the Headless Chicken, which I wrote about in my first book Einstein’s Refrigerator. It turns out that Headless Mike was not alone.

A Los Angeles woman named Martha Green purchased a live chicken at a butcher shop on April 2, 1949 and requested that it be prepared for dinner.  

Upon returning home, Mrs. Green dumped the bird into the sink and, to her surprise, the bird stood up and tried to crow.

She initially named the bird “Butch,” but later changed it to Lazarus.

Animal lovers were outraged and the local SPCA – the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – took custody of the bird. After hearing both sides, a justice of the peace ordered the bird returned to Mrs. Green.  

But there was to be no peace.

On Friday, April 22nd, two city animal regulators showed up at Mrs. Green’s door with orders to destroy the animal. A small crowd gathered to protest and then Lazarus suddenly dropped dead. He lived nineteen days and twenty-two hours without his head.

Mrs. Martha Green feeds her headless rooster Lazarus using an eyedropper filled with egg yolk and milk.
Mrs. Martha Green feeds her headless rooster Lazarus using an eyedropper filled with egg yolk and milk. Image originally appeared on page 3 of the April 4, 1949 publication of the Los Angeles Evening Citizen News.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
You may also enjoy these stories:

Language

Follow the Podcast

Recent Podcast Episodes