When you get your chickens home...settling them in
Chickens are highly sensitive to smells and sounds and they have a strong homing instinct. When taken from their familiar surroundings to a new home they become disorientated and stressed. At this stage, if not properly handled, their immune system can be overwhelmed by a disease challenge and the birds can become ill.
For the first 24 hours place the birds quietly into the house with access to food and water and leave them shut in. This will then imprint the concept of a safe home from the start. It is better at this stage to leave the birds alone, keeping inquisitive pets and children well away. If the birds are being given the complete freedom of the garden or paddock, and assuming that the house is large enough, then leave them shut in for three days. If they have a small enclosed run then the pop-hole can be opened on the day after their arrival, but they may have to be carefully lifted into the sleeping area at dusk if the house design differs greatly to what they are used to.
It will take at least a couple of weeks for the birds to become completely settled and content in the new abode having gained confidence and learnt how to react to the new smells and sounds. From that point on their personalities will continue to develop and so will your bond to them.