Good Day to all
Here's some bits of what I've learned as I've started raising chickens. I know this is old hat for many, but maybe the other new chicken folks can get some use from it.
It mostly revolves around the coop. The Hen needs four items in her living arrangements.
She needs a snug roosting area which is out of the weather and safe from predators. As you'll be the one cleaning it, you might want to make it tall enough to stand in.
She needs a laying box. The books say one per five. I have 16 hens and four boxes. Ten of them will lay in one and one, they don't lay in at all. To line the boxes, I tried hay, but they mostly knocked it out on the floor. So I tried wood shavings, worked OK, but it didn't seem very friendly, so I started layering the boxes with wood shavings on the bottom to absorb moisture and then lots of grass cuttings. The hens appear to like this arrangement.
She needs an area for dust baths. This is something the chicken really, really loves to do and it's also a necessary part of her cleaning herself.
She needs a place outside of the night roosting area, but still shaded, where she can roost and take shelter from the heat of the sun. The dust bath area and this can be the same.
On the subject of predators. If there is a way, they will get in. Once in, they'll keep coming back. Hey, everything likes chicken. Prevention is the best method of dealing with predators. When I built my coop, I put chicken wire underneath to thwart digging predators and put chicken wire over all the ventilation openings to thwart the climbers. Once the coop door is closed, nothing can get in. It only takes a very small hole in the wire and you'll be surprised (unpleasantly) at what can work it's way in.
Coop size... Lots of information out there on this... After two coop builds, this is what I've decided for my third. An eight by eight foot coop, build like a small shed. One half is enclosed and this is the night roosting area and where I'll put the laying boxes. I already have this and it works very well. The other half will be a wired in area for the daytime roosting and dust baths. Extending off of this, is a wired in area that is open to the sky. This way, if I'm going to be gone for the day, the chickens still have access to the outside. When I'm home, I have a larger fenced area for them to roam in. Chickens love to scratch in the grass. I will normally let them out to free range a couple of hours in the evening. As I have neighbors with gardens, I can't let them free range all the time.