Okay, so we are off to a much slower start than we had expected. After a deadly encounter with our dogs our fateful night, we had to replace our entire small flock. Our new birds aren't near as friendly as our first set, but roughly 8 weeks later, our now 32, 27, and 21 week old chickens seem to be adjusting well to their new home.
They aren't, however, laying as they should be and surprisingly no one has any advice as to why this could be--not the breeder from whom I bought the chickens, or my chicken raising friends, or the online chicken-owners communities, or even a friend's chicken farming father. We have started giving them constant access to their food (instead of feeding them 2-3 times a day), and tried to reduce their stress levels by leaving them alone more. So far though, it hasn't really seemed to help.
It apparently is a very frustrating and unlucky conundrum.