I just wanted a couple bearded silkie buffs for my little farm. Let me tell you a story. I am totally aching today after all this. First about a year ago, I bought a dozen silkie eggs to incubate. I have incubated bearded dragons for years. I thought, no biggie. It was a biggie. First I incubated 24 RIR/arucona mixes and got TWO. I love those two though. Then I put in my Silkie eggs. I thought I had researched what went wrong with the others and I was doing it all right. NOT! They all shrink wrapped. So I gave up on eggs. Next I purchased 25 silkie chicks from Ideal. They were a mix and on sale. I get them and NOT ONE BUFF in the group. So I decide that is ok. I will raise the white ones and look for buffls at a later date. I ended up keeping two of them. They have nice beards and are pretty. I still want buffs though. So about eight months later, my friend and I buy another box from Ideal. We got 26 blue and buff chicks. I am thinking that now I have buffs. Lots of them. Only a few had beards though. We divided them up and I started growing up my buff silkies. They got old enough to be put outside in my baby coop. I have raised other babies in that coop including my past white silkies and cochins. All was going well until one night I went out and two were missing. I find a board that got loose and they got out, not to be seen again. SAD! We fix the hole. That same day I realized that RATS are eating my chicken food. So I decide not to put food out at night any more. We live in the city and I knew that rats were coming by, but I never saw them, so I didn't panic. But now I know that they are eating the food as I caught one. So the food goes in and we think if we don't feed them, maybe they will leave. (right...). Next night, I go out and SHOCK OF MY LIFE! FOUR OF MY BABIES ARE DEAD! RATS KILLED THEM! I am so devastated!!! My hubby rat proofed that coop that day so that they could not get in. I now have seven left and none of the buffs with beards. Those are GONE! They all did well in the protection though. I thought at least I would have a buff, if not a beard. Two weeks before Mothers day, I found my hubby building something and he said it was a RAT PROOF baby coop for my babies. (just so you all know, nothing is rat proof :*( Anway we thought we were going to be safe now finally. I bought traps and we have captured the rats, I hope! I still put out traps though. I am not trusting any more. So life goes on and one night my grandson is over to visit. He loves my chickens. He is almost 4. He was outside with them for a while and I decided that we needed to check on him and the chickens. I go out there and was in TOTAL SHOCK! There was a MASACRE all over my yard of baby chickens. One dead here, one dead there. all over the place! I am trying to figure out what happened. Then Jayden tells me that my dog did it. He said, she ate them like Macaroni and cheese and black macaroni. That was his way of describing their colors that were blue and buff. My dog has never tried to harm a chicken and the only conclusion that I can come to is that she thought her and Jayden were playing a game and chicken chasing was fun. She was catching them. Only one had a spot of blood on it. My grandson had shut the coop door, so that they were unable to get in for safety. One was inside and the other six all dead on my lawn. Now I was down to ONE! It was a blue. NO BUFF SILKIES! Now we decide that the chickens need a fence area that my dogs can't get at. Once a dog killed, they might always be at risk. So we fence the yard. Now we have this supposedly RAT PROOF coop and a fenced in yard. Are we safe yet? Well my friend who had bought the other half of these silkies came to the rescue. She sold me ten of hers. Now I have 11 blues and buffs in my RAT PROOF coop. By this age, I can tell some are males, so I sold two blue males to a farmer. I am at nine. Yesterday was the first day that these babies could run because we finally got the fence up. I let them out. However hubby hasn't yet built a ramp for them to get back in. So at bedtime, I had a hard time catching them all. Four went into the big coop with my other 13 chickens. I have RIR, Cochin, Silver laced Wyandot and Old English. Well I let them be in there, as they were all getting along fine during the day. About an hour later I hear SCREAMING! FREAK OUTTTTTTTT!!!! I rush out there and find that a brooding mom has hatched babies, two of them, and the 10 week old silkies are trying to get under her with the babies. SHE WAS MAD at them. I scooped two up and put them in the baby coop. I noticed the one blue on the roost and since that one has been in the coop before. for nights, as it is the ONE that was left from my originals, I think that one is fine to leave. Then I realize that there was another buff missing. I looked with a flash light. THere it was behind the silkie nest box. I grab it up and OMG! It was hanging like dead and bleeding all over!!!!! I ran in the house and begin to administer first aid. First there is a gaping cut. I applied super glue to it. That is what surgeons use often on people. Then I bring in another baby and tuck them both in a towel and use the good baby to warm up the shocked baby. Then I try to administer fluids by a dropper to the shocked baby. I holler out to my friends on Face Book that I need prayer for this baby chick. I finally get her somewhat stabilized and I put her in a bird brooder with heat for the night. She made it to the next morning. So I go out to check on everyone this morning and go into the big coop and what do I find? MY LITTLE BLUE WAS DEAD!!!!! Of course if I had thought clearer the night before, I would have removed it from the coop, but I wasn't thinking right. BLAME ME AGAIN! It was my last female looking chick with a beard. Not a buff, but had a beard and now it is DEAD! So now I have six buff silkies and two blues left. I put the hurt baby in a playpen for the day to get sun on her booboo's. That would help heal. I moved the vicious mommy into the old baby coop with her baby and eggs remaining. I don't want any more dead birds. SO WHAT DOES SHE DO? Stops brooding the eggs! THat is four more chicks that might not make it. I put them under another brooding mom this afternoon. We will have to wait and see. So I have six buff silkies left. Not one has a beard. I will enjoy them, but my heart still searches for a buff silkie with a beard. I am sure that there are at least two girls in that group. I have now dealt with RATS, DOGS and Vicious mothers. I don't know anything else that is dangerous out there since I have a six foot privacy fence in my city yard. I have never seen a coon around ,but I have seen possums. Everyone is locked in at night and no possum can get into my coops. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS STORY, THOUGH? AND to top it all off, today I went out to a farm to pick up some fertile eggs for a brooding mom and on the way back I saw a wood chuck in the road. It looked dead. I decide to straddle it and not hit it. Just as I come up on it, it MOVES and runs RIGHT INTO MY TIRES! I felt the car run it over and looked in my rear view mirror. I killed it. I about CRIED! Why LORD? Why? I am certainly heart hurting today. I just wanted a bearded buff silkie pair.