Listening to: Yeats's Grave (The Cranberries)
Weather: warm, spring sunshine
One: day to go before the sows arrive
Adam the cockerel is outside the front door, crowing his head off*. He's pretty pleased with himself and, with hens clucking attentively around him, maybe he has every right to be.
Prince Charming certainly loves the attention and his arrival has changed the way the hens treat each other too. They have divided into three camps, which takes some doing for four hens.
The two snuggled up to Adam in the picture are on top of the pile, one because she's young, pretty and is the only hen currently laying, the other because she's big and - as it turns out - an obnoxious bully.
She picks on one of the smaller, younger hens who - after a brief and previously unreported encounter with Spike - is in the process of regrowing her tail feathers. She chases her away from food and water and pecks at her when she gets too close to Adam. I might tolerate that kind of behaviour if she was providing eggs, but she's not, so she's going in the pot.
The other older hen is heading for a long and happy retirement. She's my favourite by far. She has a streak of independence and is deeply unimpressed by Adam, fighting off his attempts to rape her yesterday. She likes to be left to her own devices, pecking about, minding her own business. Eggs or no eggs, she stays.
* What he doesn't know is that Spike is the other side of the door, a quivering mass of nervous energy. We'll be going in and out through the barn today, I think.