Here it is in a "nutshell." What have I learned from raising chickens in the last 14 years? People have changed, but chickens are still agricultural farm animals.
I've learned that I do not control the weather, cold, heat, rain, floods, gravity, temperature, or bacterial growth, Mother Nature nor Natural Selection- I have learned to let go and raise the chickens to the BEST of my abilities.
And I have learned that raising chickens is a "cycle" of replacements as your coop needs change, or your chickens begin to "age," or losses due to illness or predators chickens will need to be replenished and replaced over time.
The real truth is, raising chickens from chicks to grow hens for eggs or establishing a coop for a flock of hens takes time, experience, and skill. Just remember the basics and your chicken adventure will be a lot easier!
When you get your chickens home to the new coop or brooder, remember to leave them alone to settle down, and it's normal for lots of peeping & clucking "chicken chatter" as they are getting used to the new area.
It's a good idea to not make changes to the daily routine for your new chickens upon arrival, for "eggsample" keep your chickens on the same feed formula. And remember, when moving chickens it can take them a few days to settle down and start laying eggs.
Use care if you free-range chickens even in a small backyard there are many quick predators that will be looking for a meal.
Most people setting up coops for the 1st time want "clean pens" Read this page 1st before choosing your chickens' bedding. chickens NEED old coop bacteria to establish their gut health or else you may face future health problems if your coop is "too clean!"
Overhandling for small chicks is not a good idea. Too much holding can lead to injury or stress diseases.
Plus, even small baby chicks can fly!
Small chicks are safer in a wire brooder instead of flying around your backyard.
Even if your pet dog wants to play with your new pets he is much larger and can cause injury or worse.
Use caution showing your chickens to your dogs or cats. Or even better, keep your new chickens away from all dogs.
Once you let your chickens out for free-ranging then eventually predators will become bold enough to attack your flock
Use care if you free-range chickens even in a small backyard there are many quick predators that will be looking for a meal - And chickens running free are an easy dinner for a fast predator.