Tu-Tu is not a chicken who does things by halves.
When she was second in command to the late Queen B, she carried out her duties with far more gusto than we suspect was really necessary.
When her foster chicks were still only little blue eggs, we had the greatest difficulty in getting her to stop sitting on them long enough to eat, drink and poo. She would only leave them if we physically lifted her out of the nest. Even then, she often declined lunch and shot straight back to the nest box.
Once they'd hatched, put a hand near a chick to stroke it and she would discourage you with a peck. This from a bantam who'd previously enjoyed being cuddled.
More than a year has passed and although one of those dear little chicks went to a new home, two are still with us. They're grown up now and have become Punk and Rebecca. Tu-Tu thinks they should have left home by now too. Although they're all grown up and bigger than she is, every day she takes a run at them if they get too close to her. We presume she's encouraging them to push off and find another flock.
Yesterday evening I opened the nest box, only to find it was filled with so many Tu-Tu feathers that any eggs in there would have been completely hidden from view!
At first, I thought there had been one hell of a scrap in the coop. Then it dawned on me that Tu-Tu was the only chicken in the flock who hadn't moulted. So instead of discarding a few feathers at a time, like the others had, she'd decided to shed the lot in one fell swoop. I took a good look at her and, sure enough, she was considerably slimmer than she had been. And with each step she took, another feather floated gracefully off her.
Being a Pekin, she's a fluff-ball to start with and can afford to lose a pillowful of feathers and still retain enough to keep warm in these chilly Autumn nights. But as I pointed out earlier, she doesn't do things by halves.