What are some of the rumors going around with the humans about the Animal Farm?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After Mr. Jones is ousted from his farm, he spends time in the taproom at the Red Lion and tells other farmers in the county the story of how he was essentially deposed and chased off of his farm. The farmers are sympathetic but don't really offer to help Jones at first. Snowball and Napoleon, in the meantime, have been sending out flocks of pigeons to spread the word of the rebellion and to teach other animals the anthem "Beasts of England." 

The other farmers, including Pilkington and Frederick, are afraid that similar rebellions could occur on their own farms. At first, the other farmers speculated that the animals at Animal (Manor) Farm would fight amongst themselves and eventually starve to death. When this was apparently not the case, other rumors began to arise: 

It was given out that the animals there practiced cannibalism, tortured one another with red-hot horseshoes and had their females in common. (Chapter 4)

Opposing rumors also surfaced: 

Rumors of a wonderful farm, where the human beings had been turned out and the animals managed their own affairs, continued to circulate in vague and distorted forms, and throughout that year a wave of rebelliousness ran through the countryside. (Ch. 4) 

News of the rebellion spread and animals of other farms learned "Beasts of England." Fearing the animals were gaining the upper hand, the humans intended to stage an attack on Animal Farm, which also occurs in Chapter 4.