Hello to All. This is only my second post to the site and I want to thank everyone for all of the terrific information, inspiration and advice that is offered on BYC by its members! I look to the site almost daily now as a new chicken mother. I am hoping for any insight you can offer on some behavior that is occuring this week in light of the delivery of my first EGG! Yeah! My BO (Scarlett) and BR (Gertie) are approx 20 wks old each. Gertie looks more mature and displays more of the signs of sexual maturity than does Scarlett -- she squats when you approach her, her wattles and comb are a deep red, she is larger and her hips are wider, she's heavier, etc. I would have sworn she would lay first. It appears, however, that Scarlett, has given the first egg. Scarlett's comb and wattles are not a deep red yet & are not as large, she does not squat yet when approached, is not as verbal as Gertie, not as large overall, etc. BUT...if I had to bet, I think it's Scarlett who laid her first egg on Tuesday (I cannot tell you the excitement!) and each day since. Yet Gertie has found her BIG GIRL cackle voice (had never heard it before yesterday). She stood at the entrance to the coop nest box area cackling away like an announcer that an egg was coming. It was so loud and lasted so long. I froze, the dogs froze. We all stood there and stared. It was hilarious. I had no idea so much sound could come from Gertie! I thought the hen who lays the egg does the cackling? Looking at the egg though, and watching Gertie, it seems that it is Scarlett that is doing the laying. I can't say for sure yet. I have read many members describe their BRs eggs as being longer and narrower than their RIR and BO eggs so that makes me think even more that the three egg "gifts" I have been given thus far are from Scarlett. So, is it a normal occurance that the hen who lives with a hen who has just started laying begins to cackle, even though the cackler has not started laying herself? Any thoughts you can share about your own experiences or chicken behaviors would be appreciated. Thanking you all in advance for the many posts you have contributed. they have helped me a lot.