At the end of August I got three Black Rock POL hens (to add to my two remaining ex-bat hens) - was told they were 17 weeks but two were much smaller than the other one - although none had either comb, wattles or red faces. Have noticed the combs starting to grow, and very slowly the faces of the 'Bevs' (hubby named them the Beverly Sisters) turning ever pinker and redder - although the largest (big Bev) is still the furthest along. Yesterday I noticed for the first time that big Bev's wattles were larger, more prominent and bright red. Big Bev has taken to using the right hand nest box as a dust bath over the last 4 or 5 days - ever since I got the new nesting material - which is softer and finer then previous ones. It was just an irritation to me as she kept kicking out the only daily egg I had been getting since Penny hen died a few months ago. I have never heard these girls make any sort of noise - but earlier this morning I heard such a cacophony that I thought something had gotten into the coop and run. I dashed out and saw big Bev standing on top of the ramp to the coop squawking at the top of her voice - never heard a hen so loud ! I checked the nest box - and found it had been peed in - all over - never seen this before. As we clean out the nest boxes every morning and replace nesting material, it was very noticeable. I tried unsuccessfully to quieten big Bev down - she only stopped this noise when I threw in a load of dried mealworms - and they all scrabbled to get as many as they could. About 45 minutes later I heard the same really loud squawking, - louder than any cockerel I have heard. I went out and she was again at the top of the ramp shouting her little lungs out. As I noticed the soft bedding material all over her back and sides I again checked the nest box - and found a small dark brown perfectly formed egg ! My ex-bat eggs are a cream colour and I knew that these girls will be laying brown eggs. Taken a few photos to show you guys - no wonder my baby big Bev was shouting - she was proudly telling the whole estate she is now a 'woman' hen not just a teenager ! The egg may be smaller - but it is almost as heavy as the large egg - showing that the eggshell quality must be good (my ex-bat hen lays very poor quality eggshells). Hubby was only saying last night that it would 'be nice' if they started to lay bearing in mind they were still eating all the food and making a mess etc ..................... I think she heard him! I am a very happy hen mummy!