... any and all laws that affect chicken ownership, sex and number of chickens allowed and size of coop or enclosure needed for the maximum allowed.
Having to re-home your chickens after you've become attached is painful and
difficult for both human and chicken alike.
... types of chickens that do well in your climate, will provide the eggs/meat/dual purpose/show experience you desire and fits your life style and personality .
There is a size and type of chicken for every size and type of back yard.
... what nutritional needs your chickens will need throughout their lives and and how you can best provide for them.
Know where you can purchase feed, feeders, waterers, medications and whatever
else you decide is appropriate or needed for your flock.
... any and all predators, varmints, pests, and local fauna and flora, and any weather conditions that will determine how you need to house your flock.
Remember just because you've never seen a raccoon/snake/hawk in your
neighborhood doesn't mean they aren't around. Likewise understand and
accept that Mother Nature will occasionally gift you drought, rain, wind, snow, ice,
fire, pestilence, etc....build accordingly!
... other backyard chicken owners in your state, region and geographical area and start a conversation with them either over the phone or on-line.
Learn from those that have already experienced owning backyard chickens, They are
your best resource and very willing to help.
I have found that 90% of all the research information I needed was available on-line through the Backyard Chicken Forum...as the remaining 10% was found in books I purchased due to BYC members' recommendations maybe I should up that to 100%?
Thorough research will lead to a longer lasting, safer, healthier and more joy filled experience for you and your flock...it certainly worked for me!