We asked around, neighbors and friends, for recommendations for a landscaper to come in and do the back yard. The first guy we spoke with came so highly recommended that after our brief chat in the middle our back yard, we knew he was the guy. I think the clincher was that he seemed to know about chickens, and swore, unprompted, that he'd be extra careful around the coop.
Also, I'm so glad we decided to hire someone to do this. Right away he made some smart suggestions regarding irrigation that we hadn't thought of, and that really would make things run much more smoothly. Also, he started naming things we could consider doing in later phases and they were all things that meshed with what we had been thinking. Good times.
He brought two guys with him yesterday at 12:30 (right when he said he'd be there) and they got right to work in the blazing sun. Soon it was over 90F out there and they kept toiling. By 4:30 they had the lawn out, the ground dug and then tilled into a fine, almost "dirt-like" consistency (which is quite a feat, considering what they were working with) and even managed some of the very preliminary work for the sprinklers.
So that's day one.