Clawd and the pussy cat went to see…….

Clawd the young cockerel spent the night in a coop in the chickens’ greenhouse.  I went to let him out with the others in the morning but he was so busy having a dustbath that he didn’t notice the door was open.  So I shut it again and left him until later, I didn’t want to risk leaving him alone with much bigger chickens that might be aggressive.  In fact, when I did let him out, he cheerily thought he could share one of the big hen’s mealworms and she put him right indignantly, then Crow the established cock chased him, so I really don’t think I can leave him with them.  We’ll separate them out once the stapling has been done – the staples haven’t been delivered yet.

The interesting animal behaviour wasn’t among the chickens, though.  We haven’t seen RasPutin, the big tabby father of the barn cats, since we arrived home last weekend, until we heard angry cat noises while we were having coffee this morning, and I saw Rummy, Rose’s cat, and RasPutin fighting on the gravel.  I went out and told them to stop – Eloise cat came indoors, rolling her eyes – and they did, but Rummy followed RasPutin, evidently wanting to carry on the fight once my back was turned.  I told him no, firmly, and he just grumbled.  But later, when I was going to the henhouse, I saw RasPutin again and could see that he’s got quite thin.  I don’t know why, we’d have fed him any time, but he’s clearly not had enough to eat.  It wasn’t feeding time but I went and put down an extra tin of meat and stroked him while he started to eat.  I hope he’ll come back tomorrow, he wasn’t there when I went out to feed them this evening.

Having fed him (and his opportunist children, who got an extra meal) I went into the henhouse as described above and, while watching the chickens, I noted Rummy walking along with his back arched.  And then I spotted Zain, the tabby cat, who was squaring up to Rummy.  Zain isn’t an aggressive cat and he’s quite small, but he’s not timorous either.  He was at the corner of the greenhouse, which is just a few yards away from the Dutch barn where I feed the cats and where Zain’s father Rasputin was eating.

Rummy can be pugnacious.  And he hates the barn cats.  But Zain was not intimidated and just stood there and it was Rummy who, stiff-legged, turned and walked away.  I’m quite sure that Zain was defending his weakened father.  He sat at the corner of the greenhouse where he could see in each direction – where he didn’t look was up, because Rummy jumped up onto the greenhouse and walked along to look down on what was happening.

At this point, LT came along and the tableau was broken, which was just as well.

The hens are laying well – the young, big brown hen is laying every day; her eggs are distinctive.  And both Seramas have laid today and so has one of the others, but I’n not sure if it’s Mona, the remaining bantam, or the new big black one.  Four out of five is good, anyway.  Only a few weeks ago, they were all off lay, or too young, and I even had to buy eggs.

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