Will not be here to start another brood this spring. I found what was left of her in the woods this morning. Probably a hawk, best guess, killed her either today or yesterday afternoon. Last spring she faithfully sat on her eggs, successfully hatched and carefully raised a bunch of beautiful youngsters. She taught them how to avoid predators, what to eat, where to drink, what to watch out for, who their friends were, and single-handedly defended them from predators, too...and when they were plenty old enough, she did what every good mother should do and let them learn to fend for themselves. She later actually went through what we were sure was a period of mourning (or whatever you want to call it when it involves a chicken mom)...sat by the spot where one of her grown babies was killed by a mink or weasel., until it was almost totally dark. Last fall she faithfully sat on a clutch of eggs in our garage, even when it finally turned freezing cold, she stayed there...when the chicks were killed by the cold before hatch she refused to leave the nest for an additional ten days; then sadly booted the eggs out and sat on the floor of the garage for a long time, before returning to the garage: again and again for the next few days, maybe hoping to find her eggs rejuvenated, she would sit in the window sill of the house and try to roost there during that period, instead of returning to the barn at night with the others. We were so looking forward to her starting another brood this year. Her death coming on what I hope is the tail end of a whole string of bad luck which has lasted for days, is very difficult to deal with. I was going to put her in the Memorials thread, but I wanted her to have her own space. Rest in Peace, Hedwig....we love you.