Help with homemade mix?

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Help with homemade mix? Empty Help with homemade mix?

Post by chiroptera on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 3:42 pm

So, my girls are sharing Oxbow Royal Rat food with my roommate's rats right now, but I see on the list here that Oxbow isn't really suitable for mice. So I'm trying to figure out what would be the best way to feed my girls, preferably cost-effectively, as we don't have a lot of money to spare.

I definitely want some sort of lab block/pellet to be the main part of their diet if it all possible, that's part of why I've been happy with Oxbow so far. I saw others on the forum suggesting Science Selective Mouse, which I would absolutely love to try, but I'm located in the US so I don't think there's a reliable way to get that food here... Amazon only has a very small bag listed, and it's not available through Prime so I don't know when I would be able to get it. (If anyone knows of a more reliable way to get this food that doesn't break the bank, please let me know.)

The roommates have both rats and birds, and they're vegan, so there are a whole lot of seeds/veggies/fruits available to them, as well as a few kinds of bird food, but I'm not sure how to go about making a good mix of stuff on my own.

Please help me out/suggest different options for me! Also, if anyone could explain why Oxbow isn't good for mice I would really appreciate it, I don't quite understand why at the moment

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Post by CallaLily on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 5:27 pm

There were reports that mice were failing to thrive when being fed exclusively oxbow. But if you were to use it as just a supplement to a good seed mix, it would be fine.

Many here use a good parakeet seed mix as a base, then add in a few other grains, seeds, insects, etc for more variety. If you're wanting to go full out homemade mix, you'll definitely want to take the time to research mouse diets, see what's available to you, and go from there. Even then it's probably a good idea to supplement it with a block-type food to round it out. And small amounts of fresh fruits/veggies at least twice a week.

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Post by chiroptera on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 5:40 pm

@CallaLily I don't necessarily want to go full-homemade, I'd rather have their staple be a lab block if possible... I just haven't seen any that stand out to me as the "right one" so far (I really do like that Science Selective, but getting it here seems to be a challenge)

I'm worried about using a seed base, I'm afraid that the girls will just pick out what they want, which is why I like pellets/blocks a lot. They actually seemed to like the bird pellets when I gave them some as a treat, I'll have to look at the nutrients in the pellets for the birds, maybe!

But I also think I definitely need to add more variety to their food, especially since the Oxbow doesn't seem to be quite nutritious enough for the mice!

I guess trial and error will be my best bet, I'm just not quite sure how to get started Confused ...though that may just be my anxiety talking


edit: does anybody have any experience with this food? https://www.amazon.com/Supreme-Petfoods-Friends-Reggie-Mouse/dp/B00VF2IRH0 it seems more readily available through amazon then the Selective

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Post by CallaLily on Wed 29 Nov 2017, 6:13 pm

The way I get around them just picking out their favorites is by not refilling their food dish until I see that they've eaten most of it. I poke around the cage to try to get a feel for what their hiding too, though mine don't stash much. It ends up being about every other day, but that will depend on how much you put in the dish and your mice.

I struggled with finding a block food I liked too. It's why I settled for paying the shipping from viovet and just ordering 3 bags at a time, freezing it to keep it fresh. It honestly lasts me almost a whole year but I'm not feeding it as their main staple, it's just in addition to their seed mix.  Well maybe less now that I've switched to just Science Selective.  I was also mixing in Mr Johnson's Advance Mouse and Rat pellets which comes in a bigger bag (2 supreme bags and 1 mr johnson).  We'll see how it works out with just 3 supreme.

Trust me I get feeling overwhelmed by it all. I didn't feel confident in putting a mix together until after almost 2 years of reading and I still ended up messing up that first batch. Laughing But its worth looking into yourself, rather than just blindly throwing together someone else's recipe. Smile

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Post by chiroptera on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 1:57 am

@CallaLily wrote:The way I get around them just picking out their favorites is by not refilling their food dish until I see that they've eaten most of it. I poke around the cage to try to get a feel for what their hiding too, though mine don't stash much. It ends up being about every other day, but that will depend on how much you put in the dish and your mice.

I struggled with finding a block food I liked too. It's why I settled for paying the shipping from viovet and just ordering 3 bags at a time, freezing it to keep it fresh. It honestly lasts me almost a whole year but I'm not feeding it as their main staple, it's just in addition to their seed mix.  Well maybe less now that I've switched to just Science Selective.  I was also mixing in Mr Johnson's Advance Mouse and Rat pellets which comes in a bigger bag (2 supreme bags and 1 mr johnson).  We'll see how it works out with just 3 supreme.

Trust me I get feeling overwhelmed by it all. I didn't feel confident in putting a mix together until after almost 2 years of reading and I still ended up messing up that first batch. Laughing  But its worth looking into yourself, rather than just blindly throwing together someone else's recipe. Smile

Looking into peoples' mixes makes me want to try and figure out one that I like... Though I still want to include the lab blocks as a big chunk of the diet. May I ask why you phased out the Mr. Johnson's? From what I can tell, it looks like the best I've seen so far after the Science Selective... though the amount of wheat in the ingredients does worry me a little, but the analysis %'s all seem to be right where they should be.

Right now I'm considering a bunch of different things yet, but how does this look for a starting point?


  • Lab blocks (Science Selective or Johnson's? or suggest other options)
  • (VitaKraft VitaSmart possibly?)
  • Mix-ins of grains/seeds; millet, flax, maybe quinoa?, pumpkin seeds
  • Raw pasta mixed in
  • Dried fruits/vegetables
  • Nuts (I know not peanuts, but what kinds are good?)
  • Dog/cat kibble or something for protein


is there anything anyone thinks I should definitely add or remove? And what percentages about should each ingredient be?

hopefully I'm not being annoying... I'm just excited and nervous about messing up Embarassed


Last edited by chiroptera on Thu 07 Dec 2017, 1:55 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by CallaLily on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 6:10 am

My mice just didn't eat it as well as the Science Selective.

I would maybe try for adding oats or barley or buckwheat instead of millet. You'll find the birdseed is already mostly millet. Walnuts are great! Pecans, cashews, pistachios are safe too. I personally don't like to use dog kibble. Instead I stick with dried feeder insects (crickets, mealworms, calciworms) and occasionally dried shrimp. Its just a more natural protein source imo but I know there are many who do use dog kibble, so someone else might come along and have recommendations there. I have occasionally given mine safe dog biscuits before, but just as a special treat.

You're not being annoying at all. I like talking about mousey things, especially diet. Very Happy

As an example; my mouse seed mix includes a high variety parakeet mix and then I add various grains (oats, barley, rye, wheat, triticale, spelt, rice, buckwheat, etc), hemp seed, flax seed, and dried herbs/fruit/veggies. In the end (Science Selective included) it works out to be 13.5% crude protein, 6.4% fat, and 9.7% fiber.

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Post by chiroptera on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 4:54 pm

@CallaLily wrote:My mice just didn't eat it as well as the Science Selective.

I would maybe try for adding oats or barley or buckwheat instead of millet. You'll find the birdseed is already mostly millet. Walnuts are great!  Pecans, cashews, pistachios are safe too. I personally don't like to use dog kibble.  Instead I stick with dried feeder insects (crickets, mealworms, calciworms) and occasionally dried shrimp.  Its just a more natural protein source imo but I know there are many who do use dog kibble, so someone else might come along and have recommendations there. I have occasionally given mine safe dog biscuits before, but just as a special treat.

You're not being annoying at all.  I like talking about mousey things, especially diet. Very Happy

As an example; my mouse seed mix includes a high variety parakeet mix and then I add various grains (oats, barley, rye, wheat, triticale, spelt, rice, buckwheat, etc), hemp seed, flax seed, and dried herbs/fruit/veggies.  In the end (Science Selective included) it works out to be 13.5% crude protein, 6.4% fat, and 9.7% fiber.

Ohh yeah that makes sense, since there really is a lot of millet in the bird mix! So, if I go for the Vitasmart, would I make maybe 30% lab blocks (Science Selective if I can or Johnsons) and then 20% Vitasmart, or should it be the other way around?

And then a grain mixture of barley/oats/etc and some seeds as another 40% or so and then add a smaller amount of dried veggies/fruits, pasta, etc etc ?


Oh, and how do I tell the crude %'s of straight grain? Is there a way to just check the crude protein in barley for example, or does that all not count towards balancing those percentages?

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Post by CallaLily on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 8:02 pm

This thread on Hamster Hideout really helped me wrap my head around how to work out the percentages. http://hamsterhideout.com/forum/topic/102287-hamster-nutrition-iii-calculating-the-guaranteed-analysis-of-a-mixed-diet/page-1

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Post by chiroptera on Thu 30 Nov 2017, 9:23 pm

@CallaLily wrote:This thread on Hamster Hideout really helped me wrap my head around how to work out the percentages. http://hamsterhideout.com/forum/topic/102287-hamster-nutrition-iii-calculating-the-guaranteed-analysis-of-a-mixed-diet/page-1

That really does help a lot, thanks! It's all simple-ish math, time to work my brain muscles I suppose. Razz


What's a good starting ratio between the Vitasmart, a lab block/pellet, and then the straight grains/seeds?

Like, should it be 2:2:1, or 3:1:2, or something else?

...or, if I'm not making sense, what percentage should the Vitasmart and lab block/pellet take up, to start with?

I know there's no one "right" way to do it, but I'm trying to get a feel for where to start even.

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Post by CallaLily on Fri 01 Dec 2017, 7:17 am

For me, the seed mix is the main staple. The block is just a supplement to that mix.  So I feed around 80% seed mix, the rest Science Selective.  Some would disagree with this and suggest your block mix make up no less than 50% of the mix since it's the "mouse food" and the seed mix is technically homemade. (But many here don't view their parakeet/add-ins as a homemade food.  In fact, most just feed mainly parakeet mix with no problems.)  I've seen other places recommend a homemade mix to be 70% grains and 30% seeds/kibble/insects/other. And there are many other variations out there, which is why I always suggest to read everything you can get your hands on about mouse diets (in captivity and wild) and come to your own conclusions on what would work best for you and your mice.  

From all my reading, naturally mice eat mainly grains, seeds, and insects but will take full advantage of any edible fruit, greens, mushrooms, herbs, flowers, nuts, etc (even sometimes carrion) that they may come across.  If that helps at all.

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Hamlet & Horatio / Emrys, Cream, & Hershey / 
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Post by chiroptera on Fri 01 Dec 2017, 5:25 pm

@CallaLily wrote:For me, the seed mix is the main staple. The block is just a supplement to that mix.  So I feed around 80% seed mix, the rest Science Selective.  Some would disagree with this and suggest your block mix make up no less than 50% of the mix since it's the "mouse food" and the seed mix is technically homemade. (But many here don't view their parakeet/add-ins as a homemade food.  In fact, most just feed mainly parakeet mix with no problems.)  I've seen other places recommend a homemade mix to be 70% grains and 30% seeds/kibble/insects/other. And there are many other variations out there, which is why I always suggest to read everything you can get your hands on about mouse diets (in captivity and wild) and come to your own conclusions on what would work best for you and your mice.  

From all my reading, naturally mice eat mainly grains, seeds, and insects but will take full advantage of any edible fruit, greens, mushrooms, herbs, flowers, nuts, etc (even sometimes carrion) that they may come across.  If that helps at all.

I appreciate all of your help!

I don't want to completely drift away from the lab blocks, I dunno if it's just the science-brain in me or what but I'm more comfortable knowing that they have something that's as close to a complete nutrition as it can be that they can't just pick around, but I definitely want to offer more variety, too. I ordered a bag of Science Selective Rat since that only seems to be slightly different than the Selective Mouse, and the actual mouse mix isn't Prime eligible on Amazon. Rolling Eyes And I'm going to hope that the local Petco has Vitasmart Parakeet to mix, and pick up some grains and nuts at the grocery store, so I can try actually mixing soon.

So, my current plan is:
-40% Science Selective Rat
-30% Vitasmart Parakeet
-~25% Grains (buckwheat, rye, rice, flax)
-~5% 'Other' (Pasta, nuts, dried fruits/veggies, high quality dog treats, maybe insects (I may just try giving live mealworms though and see if the girls will go for it)


Does that seem... more or less reasonable? I'm hoping there will be a good enough variety with that, but still have the presence of the blocks, which is what they're used to anyway. (Just the Selective Rat, rather than Oxbow Regal Rat).

And if anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to offer them!! I would love more opinions/insight from everyone

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Post by Rodents rock! on Fri 01 Dec 2017, 5:37 pm

@chiroptera wrote:
@CallaLily wrote:For me, the seed mix is the main staple. The block is just a supplement to that mix.  So I feed around 80% seed mix, the rest Science Selective.  Some would disagree with this and suggest your block mix make up no less than 50% of the mix since it's the "mouse food" and the seed mix is technically homemade. (But many here don't view their parakeet/add-ins as a homemade food.  In fact, most just feed mainly parakeet mix with no problems.)  I've seen other places recommend a homemade mix to be 70% grains and 30% seeds/kibble/insects/other. And there are many other variations out there, which is why I always suggest to read everything you can get your hands on about mouse diets (in captivity and wild) and come to your own conclusions on what would work best for you and your mice.  

From all my reading, naturally mice eat mainly grains, seeds, and insects but will take full advantage of any edible fruit, greens, mushrooms, herbs, flowers, nuts, etc (even sometimes carrion) that they may come across.  If that helps at all.

I appreciate all of your help!

I don't want to completely drift away from the lab blocks, I dunno if it's just the science-brain in me or what but I'm more comfortable knowing that they have something that's as close to a complete nutrition as it can be that they can't just pick around, but I definitely want to offer more variety, too. I ordered a bag of Science Selective Rat since that only seems to be slightly different than the Selective Mouse, and the actual mouse mix isn't Prime eligible on Amazon.  Rolling Eyes And I'm going to hope that the local Petco has Vitasmart Parakeet to mix, and pick up some grains and nuts at the grocery store, so I can try actually mixing soon.

So, my current plan is:
-40% Science Selective Rat
-30% Vitasmart Parakeet
-~25% Grains (buckwheat, rye, rice, flax)
-~5% 'Other' (Pasta, nuts, dried fruits/veggies, high quality dog treats, maybe insects (I may just try giving live mealworms though and see if the girls will go for it)


Does that seem... more or less reasonable? I'm hoping there will be a good enough variety with that, but still have the presence of the blocks, which is what they're used to anyway. (Just the Selective Rat, rather than Oxbow Regal Rat).

And if anyone has any other suggestions, please feel free to offer them!! I would love more opinions/insight from everyone

I think that sounds like a good and healthy variety for your girls Very Happy
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Post by CallaLily on Fri 01 Dec 2017, 9:17 pm

@chiroptera wrote:
So, my current plan is:
-40% Science Selective Rat
-30% Vitasmart Parakeet
-~25% Grains (buckwheat, rye, rice, flax)
-~5% 'Other' (Pasta, nuts, dried fruits/veggies, high quality dog treats, maybe insects (I may just try giving live mealworms though and see if the girls will go for it)

Sounds like a plan to me. Thumbs Up

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Post by chiroptera on Sat 02 Dec 2017, 1:04 am

The Petco in town didn't have the Vitasmart parakeet food, so I wasn't able to mix anything yet, but I'm hopefully going to go to PetSmart tomorrow (which also means I can set up the Christmas bedding Heart Eyes ) Interestingly enough, Petco did have Science Selective? Of course, not the rat or mouse formulas, because that would be useful, but it's nice to know that they have some of it, maybe I'll be able to avoid shipping costs and still get the mouse formula in the future!

Anyway, I did get some grains and nuts and fun things at Kroger! They didn't have rye, but they had some other stuff that I grabbed:


  • Barley (2.1 lb)
  • Wild + Brown Rice Mix (1.05 lb)
  • Organic Flax (1.06 lb)
  • Organic Raw Pumpkin Seeds (0.14 lbs)
  • Raw Pecans (0.14 lbs)
  • Raw Walnuts (0.65 lbs)
  • Raw Cashews (0.25 lbs)


as well as a few different kinds of raw pasta for a bit more variety. I also wanted to get some dry fruits and/or veggies, but all of the ones that I saw seemed to have added sugar, so I wasn't sure if that would be okay even in small quantities. There were some unsweetened bananas, but they had "natural banana flavor" listed in the ingredients and I'm not entirely sure what to make of that/if it's safe

Probably won't end up using all of it for the mix in these exact ratios, I was kind of just getting what I could get for now until I get the hang of it!

Science Selective Rat is on its way from Amazon, and if all goes according to plan, I'll be able to get the Vitasmart parakeet mix tomorrow, so then I can start mixing!




@Rodents rock! wrote:

I think that sounds like a good and healthy variety for your girls Very Happy

Ahh, thank you!


@CallaLily

I'm glad I'm getting the hang of this... now for the math, though...  Crying or Very sad

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Post by chiroptera on Thu 07 Dec 2017, 2:20 am

So, I mixed up the new food tonight so they should be ready to go!

I left my notebook with all of the math/exact percentages downstairs, but the makeup of the mix is (more or less):

  • 40% Science Selective Rat pellets
  • 30% Vitakraft VitaSmart parakeet food
  • ~20% Grains (Barley, Wild/Brown Rice, and Flax)
  • ~5% Raw Pasta
  • ~5% Other (Pumpkin seeds, walnuts, cashews, pecans)


my only concern is that it seems like they (especially Trouble) are picking around the pellets, and only going after the millet. I'm just worried that they'll not actually get any nutrition out of it. I'm probably just being worrisome, but is there any trick to getting them to eat the lab blocks as well as the seed?

Oh, and is there a way to stop the husks from getting everywhere? I'm assuming that's just something I'm going to have to put up with, but if there is some kind of trick to keeping the husks/dust down, I definitely want to know about it Wink

And here are some cute pics of my girls digging in:

Help with homemade mix? GSc-peSZkjaX7P2Cip0z5h_WKrWx5Gw4xAayRkoNDfATn3KdmckcVVNZAzrKSs3MYtnMWdcHQ23YqDgeRPfosuLQeTWcG4TtEyVy6OoOLEt0KDfKpa01Yb-0W6zog2Xo8VzDu2qvjb8fvKPHhTJLnceSx04i3p8meAU6FvIaUgHILH2gpU5ioboClSrOmD0k4HKT4Xr39lSwyM1Tt8IXSle_Gg3ZN4MA_AyP3cGusnLuAwYZCID8-bBLYCZE22Er4hlWTl-XmNtdxxxn-JXDAOtnZACmwt4YcPdd_CLr-KF17jB4CFYYDORK3sP9EqFlWA_vezLUjyV3VkdZzz6-TURaMlnJjl0c8ku3KiHENiaXImv98sZyKT1a7cB7EOr1q_x2X8dbupu8alTPubk9-q6tWaQNDKLO4yToGFvSHRbXSqLZiCeja_Lk6v1WpA505E2BTuVBfLKsBvykgXsBh02NpGp2ljsD9JYughaZ5Z2gELX5rM_6ZEPaH13EoaIflJuoMdmX8pFOZMfVjLrA_bXw3psWv-VBnIJZJ5whENvLj2d012bSgLg8tibITVdDGdOIspnKbFDUwPFDSk7su9ZEPKvBtV_9CqcFDaSYYQ=w508-h677-no

Help with homemade mix? 2pv57yZxzWJoTqEsH9uKANEpz0A88h4q0rNZRgPiy2lnf71qmUGvwaYjD-Ph_cKsK8SmLT5wTZzBkPe3kYYC4gIjOkfGii8WdoZtXdo0YOtx13ow97OtSO8hgZGs_GbvvtkSRdI0mhQ-18twIV0bv9bd8OFbEIZRD5xZP7_ZIrGgzspdfl47H2W7zmvmd6W11ORN40x7P0RS9FyoUls9MO38UArCsS4luJ-muqY5kWIbnlZ94wNvpjsWrnLDm0xLV9K-uLgP23QKIRubu6x709uQ3xY31CeusUGE7G15GQYAe-VF1m8FNtoSe2TVFhMU4hUrZSPxvlkkOumfHM37chs8HYgYDljoureLNJK3h4ohfju4gsvHPVF04vIyvMfzXYKAHDkTnP0jboc6FUmrnyb4TVCT0OvcTknzZwrDyP1oyQ_hrmFZcFGahOesQF86Rfs5cPMcpybnwdFxv5T3NH_-tgn_hoZy8OKihGqkNDKgm_r9AsXca_0THEGaf5QU20ClnN3pb2UcY5E7jGzMfBCMhT1lupt7_Cz2MPsu_e8JaHvVEXJ68EhooXorFjJTGZjE71uGOpWdUyJjv8gMNvjI8AIvUdgHSEV1IckenQ=w508-h677-no

Help with homemade mix? H9xvXcPoeJ0P2tE5y5s9sD_O0Hvlei7QhxdEpXW1-HzPqXQyNQgcODe1vulKIoO0vs-Nl2ApAUFXoEhn3--KWtKt3_gMd9r__j1-0ASdM-ys8f-_GCblSElWAK4pg1srjZvCA5VDZT8LFaEln4w5mfliCDPvz-v-Qwe-vuvv5mhBGJFUz6jLWR9BrP71juUWyyicQ92q_thdAOUrewFWzTjPIIaMMtcbNDKE-BZLuMBhTa0SRv2-1rQM_1iGhuyarlvqsI_et3oaMI4r--WifD-Buh2WS7n1RSD7zq7uE4oQEjhgAXciIPCQdGNvl0Z-_dRUSqwNQSvGhzaaq1P4qQxOgMl0jfyPXj9dPo7YQ01lbPnuCrm0rH76lnGMkBohH6D-cR5gJgjbwlpTNqA314eq2eWmkTI9GbguCvI04Q_xApGIl779NiWw-aiZ7aE_8CflpaGU8INE7iCm0NFomjJ_l0RA4J8hxSilDkMkEY3bDrz7X131GEduJaiobDQ5uYMD2p0NE0p73Cf2q7-gFyWtgo_h_E94hIwC_1zhV0AmPJObsU-pcdNhWG_bS0vM2yiNnTWE84KU5Hqnj22yDxGOvNI5qhp9Dp8kY0nCcA=w508-h677-no


(and, my favorite:)
Help with homemade mix? AdFD9-fNu0iodfCQ52UFR94mgc-YtBlbCFGOkIQTfLHr8H-_P8U1s7h5SNpncAgHN0Jo2Y8MMmwcyqPIb8e21fGqKinLyuS_-MCaTZd37fBVqaZ_pFf7JjqPIgeHnO_wk-_AU_Z7Rt_surnoV3H-HHTN_ppqCyGiVmLu_dUwUozcy2jgMtMWQ-Jnb7PJFboA8KTMY7KSZKu073VjwRItcnGVJJIzlVzgrhEvJ5nOUH4h9x5cJZETbdrYLc6_VaNZt_FXUBla9W9Jjq96lgld3DmVPGlcd8soUcEydxTiEjCeKlYa0sHNKtZ29Y54fswJsQTjSwi8hKXWJbiraSZhu9x3nj65Ndv2HWCG3QSh3ok-JL5JvXECD8hD5E37Nz1JRoa99JTsOStkldfM7rbxpWYrRLoUWlRo7bBoH9Jfnr_0LpwjTBh8r4zqcR9499JTkyDqX5I3wBkb-wExpc72iMwhSju3QNb8GiZIw1NgUn41flzeGRFZ2S7e65cvOxw1e6Asn8PVsuBsAaLMuzrifUlbWkcK_gCSI5x4i7aQlgHdX8FfEfid14gYFVr3USZRzVZ5Z9PplliD5H8tQVAdJdxWc2vDibbiEvIiD8kr_A=w903-h677-no
chiroptera
chiroptera
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Sagittarius Batty

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