How To Go “No Poo” (Shampoo Free)

Your hair will be healthier and it is so much easier! Easy step by step.

DIY Shampoo and Conditioner

I went “no poo” (that sounds so dirty!) years ago, but since went back to using shampoo because it was just easier at the time. I am contemplating trying it again. My hair was fuller and softer when I wasn’t using store-bought shampoo. I also loved that I could customize it to my own hair. Here is how you can go shampoo-free:

Step One: Baking Soda and Water

You will have to experiment a little to get the mix right. The starting mix is:

  • 1 Tbs Baking Soda in 1 Cup warm water

Do not add more baking soda! It will make your hair dry. Pour it on your hair and let it sit for about a minute. When I was making it I would make a larger batch in a squirt bottle (or old shampoo bottle) then just shake it before I poured it over my hair.

Step Two: Rinse (0ptional)

The rinse is like the conditioner step, you can do it if you want but you do not have to do it every time. The rinse mix is:

  • 1-2 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar in 1 cup water.

Pour it over your hair and rinse with cold water. You can do the same thing with the squirt bottle that I did with the shampoo mix.

Troubleshooting

  • If you hair is dry decrease the amount of baking soda or use a deep oil treatment every few weeks
  • If your hair is long you may have to increase the baking soda
  • You can add essential oils or herbs (a drop or two) to get the scent and extra properties that you are looking for.
  • Sometimes it takes your hair a little while to get used to it (it can be a little oily for a week or two). I was working when I originally tried this so I “eased” into it to avoid this problem. I started by doing this every third shampoo, then every other, then completely switched over after three weeks. I didn’t have the oily problem that some people report

Sustainability Considerations

I think this, once again, helps on the journey towards sustainability. You will no longer have to purchase shampoo. Anything that frees me from going to the store is a plus in my book.

Other Benefits of not Using Shampoo

  • My hair was both softer and fuller not using shampoo.
  • You can choose your own scents and benefits using herbs and essential oils
  • Completely tear-free for babies and kids
  • Eventually you can cut back to “shampooing” every 3-4 days! Seriously! Your hair actually produces more oil when you shampoo because the shampoo dries your hair and your hair follicles respond by producing oil. Repeat this pattern and eventually your hair will be producing more oil that it needs. Going no-shampoo will have an opposite effect.

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How do you Make White Bread with Buttermilk

This buttermilk bread recipe is smple and delicious

This recipe is smple and delicious

This weeks reader question is how do you make a basic white bread using buttermilk? If you have a question you would like me to answer then go ahead and contact me.

My dad used to love to drink buttermilk! If you do not have any you can always use this substitute: 1 cup milk plus 1 Tbs white vinegar or lemon juice. Let that sit for about 15 minutes and then use it (it will begin to curdle).

Ingredients for a Basic White Bread Loaf using Buttermilk

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 2 Tbs oil or butter
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs active dry yeast

Directions for a Basic White Bread Loaf using Buttermilk

  • Add the water, honey, buttermilk, and oil to your bread machine first.
  • Next add the flour and salt
  • Finally add the active dry yeast in a well at the top

That’s it! Super easy and delicious.

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To Wash or Not To Wash (your Chicken Eggs)

will you wash your chicken eggs? pros and cons

Will you wash your chicken eggs?

If you are looking into getting backyard chickens, or if you already have a few hens, you have probably heard the debate on whether or not you should wash your chicken eggs. Some people never wash, some always wash, and some disinfect. Here is the scoop on if you should wash your chicken eggs.

Why Would you Wash Chicken Eggs?

First, lets look at why you would want to wash a chicken egg. We clean our food in order to protect it from bacteria. Bacteria causes spoilage and can make us sick. Really, the question of washing the egg boils down to will washing it protect us from bacteria? Scroll down to see the recommendation or read on for the explanation.

What is the Egg Shell?

Eggs do have a natural protection. A fertilized egg houses a chick and that chick has to be protected from bacteria. When an egg is laid the hen leaves a thin coat of protection, called the bloom, on the outside. That will protect the egg from being exposed to bacteria. The egg also has to “breathe”. So, not only does this egg have a bloom to protect it, the egg itself is covered in tiny pores. In fact, if you coat an egg in mineral oil (blocking the pores) then the unhatched chick will die from lack of oxygen.

Washing the Egg

If you wash your egg you will take the bloom off and expose those pores to the outside air (and bacteria). Eggs that have the bloom will not spoil as soon as washed eggs.

Water will actually help the bacteria get inside of the egg (using the pores as pathways). If you do wash your eggs with water make sure that the water is warmer than the egg (cold water will get sucked into the egg easier than water that is warmer than the egg). Don’t use hot water or you might cook the egg!

That said, you will sometimes have an egg that has something on it that shouldn’t be there (a feather, some chicken poop). It is still better to stay away from submersing the egg in water, but you can wash it off if it bothers you (and definitely do before you crack the egg to eat). In this case, it is better to use a scouring pad (like this one) to rub the offending material off, using a little warm water if you have to.

If you are getting many soiled eggs than take a look at your egg laying conditions. An occasional egg might get soiled, but the far majority of them should be clean. I would be concerned if any more than 1 in 10 or 20 were soiled.

  • Are your chickens laying in an egg box? If not then encourage them to (use fake eggs in the box, make sure it is dark and sized correctly – about one foot square).
  • Are your chickens pooping in the egg box? If they are then they are probably sleeping in it. If you have to you can block it off at night until they drop this practice.
  • Is your chicken healthy? I had one chicken who would constantly have a very loose stool. This would stick to the feathers on her rump and soil her eggs. Changing feed took care of it.

Commercial Egg Washing Procedure

Commercially, eggs are washed. Even this is controversial because Grade A eggs in Europe are not allowed to be washed. This also puts some responsibility on the farmer to make sure his hens are in clean conditions (otherwise there would be more soiled eggs). If you are set on washing your eggs you can always use one of these egg washing machines to automate the process so you know you have the right temperature.

So… Should You Wash the Eggs

Yes or no – it is up to you. There is less contamination and bacteria on clean unwashed eggs. But, cracking a soiled egg gives you the most risk for contamination (at least wash it before you crack it).

I do not wash my eggs unless it is soiled. In that case I use the dry scouring pad to “clean” it. Occasionally I have to use a little warm water on a stubborn egg. If you have a large production and find it easier to just wash them all then it won’t hurt you.

And for goodness sake, don’t sell an egg with chicken poop on it! I once read in a forum a woman who was upset because she lost a customer because her eggs had “feathers and chicken poop” on them and the customer didn’t understand the “no wash rule”. There is no “no wash rule”! If your egg has chicken poop on it then wash it off.

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Easy Crockpot Taco Recipe

This makes the best tacos! Super easy to use.

This makes the best tacos! Super easy to use.

I have tried this easy crockpot taco recipe twice now (once with chicken and once with pork) and both times my family loved it. The second time I had quite a bit leftover so I used the chicken on a homemade pizza, which was also delicious. This is a different sort of recipe for me to be posting at Pint Size Farm since it uses a slow cooker sauce, but we all need an “easy” supper now and then. You can use any meat you want so if you raise chicken or rabbit for meat then you can use that and it will be a little more of a “homestead” recipe! We are not quite there yet.

Ingredients for Easy Crockpot Tacos

  • Chicken, pork, or ground beef
  • Campbell’s slow cooker sauces (I used the red chile and garlic one and I got it from the dollar store!! It was delicious. You can see the product I am talking about here)
  • Green onion (optional)
  • Cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Taco shells

Directions for Easy Crockpot Tacos

Put the meat in the crockpot. Pour the sauce on top. Cook for 5 hours on high or 7 hours on low. If you use pork or chicken it is easier to “pull” the meat apart about an hour before it finishes cooking.

Serve with whatever you normally like on your taco. My family tends to like green onion, cheese, and sour cream.

This is a super simple recipe. It is also very frugal if you can find the sauces for $1 like I did.

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This Week at Pint Size Farm

Rooster

This Week at Pint Size Farm

It was a non-eventful week at Pint Size Farm. We are still waiting to hear from the bank to see if our offer on the land was accepted or not. Two of my kiddos and my husband were sick this week so that was no fun! Our rose bush out front has gone crazy and I’m pretty sure has more blooms than leaves. Our carob tree has the start of some pods on it! I am excited about that. I want to try to make my own carob powder (maybe at the same time as mesquite flour). The rabbits and ground squirrels took down one of our prickly pears. They are eating anything in sight right now. I even caught the rabbits finishing off the banana peels in the compost (not usually a high ticket food).

If you missed anything on Pint Size Farm this week then here is your chance! This week I posted:

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Chicken Feed Cost Analysis Results

Cost and ingredient analysis of popular chicken feeds.

What Chicken Feed should you use?

A few months ago I started an experiment on the cost of chicken feed. I have been reporting the results as I got them, but I am going to also compile them together in this post.

The question was does a more expensive feed have less waste and what chicken feed is the best for your poultry? I looked

at four different feeds (Big Sky, ONate, Nutrena, and Purina) and calculated the feed eaten along with the ingredients.

This was not 100% scientific because my chickens are not confined and only offered the one feed. There is a normal amount of waste and they can get supplements while free-ranging. Still, it gives a pretty good idea since each bag of feed lasts over 2 months. Hopefully the variables start to even out over that amount of time.

Nutrena Country Chicken Feed

  • Nutrena Country feed costs $21.75/bag in Arizona.
  • $0.52/week to feed out ($11.26/month for a flock of 5 bantams)
  • Top three ingredients: Wheat middlings, ground wheat, maize distillers dried grains with solubles
  • Next two ingredients: ground corn, grain screenings

Purina Layena Chicken Feed

  • Purina Layena feed costs $27.75/bag in Arizona
  • $0.60/week to feed out ($12.99/month for a flock of 5 bantams)
  • Top three ingredients: processed grain by-products, grain products, plant protein products
  • Next two ingredients: Calcium carbonate, molasses products

ONate Chicken Feed

  • ONate feed costs $22.25/bag in Arizona
  • $0.71/week to feed out ($15.37/month for a flock of 5 bantams)
  • Top three ingredients: ground corn, soybean meal, calcium carbonate
  • Next two ingredients: soybean oil, salt

Big Sky Organic Chicken Mash

  • Big Sky feed costs $28.75/bag in Arizona
  • $0.75/week to feed out ($16.24/month for a flock of 5 bantams)
  • Top three ingredients: organic kamut khorasan wheat, organic barley, organic peas
  • Next two ingredients: organic flaxseed, organic fishmeal

Final Notes on the Cheap Chicken Feed Experiment

I did have a few surprises. ONate, despite being the second cheapest (by far) was a decent amount more expensive to feed out because of the higher waste. Big Sky had a ton of waste. This was mainly because it had black oil sunflower seeds included and my girls would dig those out first thing – spilling tons of feed while they did. One thing that Big Sky had going for it was that my girls pooped a lot less while on it. I keep all the chicken poo for the compost bin and I get about a gallon bucket each week. While on Big Sky it took 2-3 weeks to fill up that gallon bucket. I have one silkie hen that gets a glob of poop on her tail feathers that eventually has to be washed off. This also cleared up for the couple of months they were on Big Sky.

If you were going for price then I would definitely go for Nutrena. At $11.26/month it was the cheapest to feed out and had similar ingredients to the Purina and O’Nate. I did like that Big Sky had higher amounts of Omega added so if you were going for healthiest I would go with Big Sky. For $4.98/month more you will get a higher quality feed with better omegas. That will mean that the omegas in your eggs are higher.

The Arizona area also sells Modesto organic feed. I think I will try that one next because it is either crumble or pellets, not mash. If the hens were pooping less on the Big Sky then I can guess that they were eating less so the large consumption amount was probably due to waste. Modesto comes out around the same prices as Big Sky and Purina and with less waste it might come out quite a bit cheaper.

Arizona Chicken Feed Options

These are the prices and feed options available to the Tucson, Arizona area. Many of these feeds are available elsewhere, but may be a different price. When I was visiting family in Illinois I price checked Nutrena and it was about half the cost! I have the consumption rates in each post so you can plug in your own cost values.

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