On 01.02.02, I was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Too late for surgery, I had chemotherapy, which failed. In May the chemotherapy was changed and I was soon in remission which was celebrated and welcome and lasted nine years - until October 2011. There was progression in 2011 so more treatment was indicated and I am now back in partial remission. But I'm not only a cancer patient - I also enjoy my family, walk my dogs and am learning to draw and paint. Life is good!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

New honor student

Rosie, the Rhode Island Red, has been escaping the pen for the last few days. She never goes far, is easy to catch and toss back over the fence, but we can't figure out where she's leaving from or why.

Today I saw her in a new location, in a narrow patch at one side of the house where none of us ever go. "Oh, Rosie, you are so clever!" said I and threw her back in with her siblings.

Five minutes later, maybe only three, I went outside again to see if she would make another attempt and maybe this time I would see the place she knew about and I didn't. She wasn't there. She was so not there that I went into the chicken run myself and looked in every corner, peeked into the coop and no, she really was not there!

So I started looking. I looked in the side yard where she had been moments before, I looked in the baby coop, I went into the front yard and scanned the street, I looked over the back fence which is a view of several empty acres. I went through the house, I redid the entire search again. I peered over both neighbor's fences. I listened to sounds of skirmishes. She was gone, my Rosie was really, really gone.

I called Steve, who was quietly working his crossword puzzle at Starbucks.

"Rosie is gone."

"Gone, what do you mean?"

"I mean she's really gone. I can't find her anywhere."

"I'll be right over, I'll look for her."

"There's nothing you can do. I've looked everywhere, she's gone and I can't figure out where she went that quickly because I had seen her less than five minutes before."

"I'll be right there."

So he drives up, starts poking through the yard. I showed him the little side area where I had just seen her. He walked through it.... found a bunch of raked weeds... "She's here!"

And so she was, crouched down, hiding, out of sight, but definitely Rosie.

"Is she laying an egg?" I asked hopefully. We've been watching and waiting.

Steve picked her up. THREE eggs were under her and a fourth fell out and hit the ground.

"ROSIE! You are so smart! Of the six chickens, you are the first one to lay eggs! And you've been laying them all week, no wonder you keep getting out."

I am so proud of my Rosie. My honor student can do something your honor student can't do!

I still don't know how she gets out, but at least I know why. And I know that hens operate on 25 hour cycles so sometime around noon tomorrow Rosie may well lay another one. I need to teach her how to use the nesting boxes. I refilled them with wood chips and put a yellow golf ball in one. That's supposed to give her the idea. I can also lock her in the coop tomorrow to stress the point. "Rosie, the eggs go here........"


  1. Interesting...I didn't know you had to teach them to use nest boxes and putting in a golf ball would help them get the idea. Rosie sounds like such a sweetie!

  2. I really loved this story!

  3. Glad you found her. Would it help to have one of her previous eggs in the nest? You could mark it so you'd know which was which.


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