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  #1  
Old 01/01/09, 11:14 AM
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More on homemade feed

I went to the feed store yesterday to price out ingredients for Oren Reynolds' recipe. Here's what I came up with (all prices are for 50-lb bags):

whole oats: $8.50
alfalfa pellets: $7.50
wheat: $10.50
rolled barley: $12.66
black oil sunflower seed: $26.30

Interestingly, a small bale of alfalfa hay, approximately 50 lbs, is also $7.50.

For reference, here is the recipe and protein calculation:

Code:
GRAIN	      PARTS	      PROTEIN %        TOTAL	
Oats	        6	x	14.0	=	84.0	
Wheat	        1	x	12.5	=	12.5	
Sunflower seed	1	x	26.3	=	26.3	
Barley	        1	x	12.3	=	12.3	
Alfalfa hay	4	x	20.0	=	80.0	
TOTALS	       13		               215.1	

	215.1	÷	13.0	=	16.5% protein
I crunched the numbers, and the homemade mixture works out to about 20 cents per pound, or $130.30 for 650 lbs (a full recipe of one 50-lb bag per part). That's about $10.04 for 50 lbs, compared with $14.65 for "complete-feed" rabbit pellets. To me, that's quite a savings, certainly worth mixing my own. Not only that, but if I had to, I could grow all of those ingredients myself.

Incidentally, MaggieJ, you were wondering about the higher proportion of oats in Mr. Reynolds' recipe. Looking at the above, my first thought is that it's because the oats are considerably less expensive than the other grains. Is it not also true that oats are more easily digested (by both rabbits and humans)? Just some thoughts. . .
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Old 01/01/09, 12:50 PM
aka avdpas77
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinityoaks View Post
I went to the feed store yesterday to price out ingredients for Oren Reynolds' recipe. Here's what I came up with (all prices are for 50-lb bags):

whole oats: $8.50
alfalfa pellets: $7.50
wheat: $10.50
rolled barley: $12.66
black oil sunflower seed: $26.30

Interestingly, a small bale of alfalfa hay, approximately 50 lbs, is also $7.50.

For reference, here is the recipe and protein calculation:
Code:
GRAIN	      PARTS	      PROTEIN %        TOTAL	
Oats	        6	x	14.0	=	84.0	
Wheat	        1	x	12.5	=	12.5	
Sunflower seed	1	x	26.3	=	26.3	
Barley	        1	x	12.3	=	12.3	
Alfalfa hay	4	x	20.0	=	80.0	
TOTALS	       13		               215.1	

	215.1	÷	13.0	=	16.5% protein
I crunched the numbers, and the homemade mixture works out to about 20 cents per pound, or $130.30 for 650 lbs (a full recipe of one 50-lb bag per part). That's about $10.04 for 50 lbs, compared with $14.65 for "complete-feed" rabbit pellets. To me, that's quite a savings, certainly worth mixing my own. Not only that, but if I had to, I could grow all of those ingredients myself.

Incidentally, MaggieJ, you were wondering about the higher proportion of oats in Mr. Reynolds' recipe. Looking at the above, my first thought is that it's because the oats are considerably less expensive than the other grains. Is it not also true that oats are more easily digested (by both rabbits and humans)? Just some thoughts. . .
A year or two ago wheat was less than half that price
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Old 01/01/09, 05:06 PM
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What do you do with digging and picking through the feed? My rabbits are bad about picking out and eating what they want and leaving the rest. The worst is the oats. They almost always leave the oats and they're bad about digging it all out to get to what they want.

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Old 01/01/09, 05:10 PM
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What do you do with digging and picking through the feed? My rabbits are bad about picking out and eating what they want and leaving the rest. The worst is the oats. They almost always leave the oats and they're bad about digging it all out to get to what they want.
I'm still in the planning/exploration stage, so I couldn't tell you yet. However, someone else was proposing mixing a little bit of blackstrap molasses into the feed mix to bind it together and make it harder for the buns to be picky.

Are you using whole oats, hulled oats, or rolled oats? It may be that whole oats (with the hull still on) are too difficult for them to digest, so they bypass it.
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Old 01/01/09, 05:12 PM
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Hmm, maybe I'll try that. We've tried feeding grain before and there was so much waste that it just wasn't worth it. (we have spoiled rabbits) LOL

As for alfalfa hay, you would think it would be for sale everywhere, but it's not. I have a horrible time finding it. I may try again. I know my DH is on the verge of evicting the rabbits due to the high cost of feed these days.

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  #6  
Old 01/01/09, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 6e View Post
What do you do with digging and picking through the feed? My rabbits are bad about picking out and eating what they want and leaving the rest. The worst is the oats. They almost always leave the oats and they're bad about digging it all out to get to what they want.
It may be that the husks put them off. There is a trick you can try if you want to. Take a spoonful each of blackstrap molasses and vegetable oil and about twice that amount of water. Heat (I use the microwave for about 20 seconds) then stir and pour over a half a bucket of grain, mixing it in very well. Most rabbits love the molasses flavour and it makes all the grains similar in flavour. This should stop the pickiness. Once they are eating everything well, you can cut back the molasses mix and even eliminate it, although a bit of it is a nutrient-dense addition to their diet.

You may also find that the next generation of rabbits accepts grain better. Most rabbits seem to prefer the foods they were weaned onto over those introduced later.
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Old 01/01/09, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by trinityoaks View Post
I'm still in the planning/exploration stage, so I couldn't tell you yet. However, someone else was proposing mixing a little bit of blackstrap molasses into the feed mix to bind it together and make it harder for the buns to be picky.

Are you using whole oats, hulled oats, or rolled oats? It may be that whole oats (with the hull still on) are too difficult for them to digest, so they bypass it.
as a added point to Trinity's post:

For those that haven't run across the nomenclature yet...hulled oats are called "groats" although some feedstores call rolled-oats groats. If you haven't bought any rolled oats yet...they are simply "oatmeal". When I used to buy them, in 50 lb. bags, they were produced by Quaker and primarily sold to institutions for just that purpose. So, if you run out of porridge for breakfast, you can get some out of the feed bag
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  #8  
Old 01/01/09, 07:09 PM
 
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You have to be careful about oat nomenclature. It seems to vary quite a bit from place to place. Here, rolled oats are just lightly rolled and still full of husks. They might more correctly be called crimped oats. It's a good idea to ask detailed questions or see a sample so you know what you are getting.

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Old 01/01/09, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by MaggieJ View Post
You have to be careful about oat nomenclature. It seems to vary quite a bit from place to place. Here, rolled oats are just lightly rolled and still full of husks. They might more correctly be called crimped oats. It's a good idea to ask detailed questions or see a sample so you know what you are getting.
This is true. I have bought rolled barley at the grocery store (when I couldn't find pearl barley) that was packaged for human consumption, and I have bought rolled barley at the feed store (packaged for animal consumption). As you say, the feed-store barley is really crimped rather than fully rolled, and it does still have bits of hull, non-grain plant matter, etc. in it.
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Old 01/01/09, 07:18 PM
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Wow, you definately don't live near me!

Around here Wheat is up around $14 for 50 lbs, oats are $13 for 50 lbs, BOSS are $30 for 50 lbs, Alfalfa pellets are $15 for 50 lbs, and barley is around $12 for 50 lbs. Rabbit pellets are $11.50 for 50 lbs. I hate feeding the rabbits pellets, but I do mix in some oatmeal and oats, and sometimes I'll pick out some BOSS from the chickens seed mix for them. Mine also get all of the fescue hay they want and some treats on occasion. I'm hoping that the prices of feed goes down soon, especially now that we are out of the drought.

Emily in NC

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  #11  
Old 01/01/09, 08:45 PM
 
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I read elsewhere about a concern of the buns picking out what they wanted. It was suggest to grind the food more and then you could feed it slightly moistened - it would be a bit more like the commercial pellets...and they couldn't pick through it. Just an idea I had read about!

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  #12  
Old 01/01/09, 09:33 PM
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I feed COB, which is corn, oats, and barley with mollasses and they eat every bit of it. But it has so much mollasses it sticks together in a block in the bag.

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  #13  
Old 01/01/09, 10:12 PM
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Maggie, have you had time to try out the experiment with the dried green peas yet?

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/sho...&postcount=202

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Old 01/03/09, 11:25 AM
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Maggie, evidently your reply got lost in the forum crash yesterday, but I did see where you replied that you've been fighting something off and haven't been able to try the peas yet. I hope you're feeling better soon!

Someone else replied about feeding peas, as well, but I don't remember who it was. IIRC, there was something about cooking the peas first to soften them.

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  #15  
Old 01/03/09, 11:37 AM
 
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trinityoaks you asked on a seperate post, that now seems to be gone, about ------ corn, millet, and grain sorghum. Grain sorghum, milo, and maize are the same thing. Sometimes you will find someone calling corn maize. Millet is the small light colored seed you often find in bird seed. Grandma always talked about growing ------ corn apparently it was a kind of open polinated grain sorghum.

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  #16  
Old 01/03/09, 11:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by trinityoaks View Post
Maggie, evidently your reply got lost in the forum crash yesterday, but I did see where you replied that you've been fighting something off and haven't been able to try the peas yet. I hope you're feeling better soon!

Someone else replied about feeding peas, as well, but I don't remember who it was. IIRC, there was something about cooking the peas first to soften them.
Minor bug... but feeling better today, thanks.

I believe it was SquashNut who mentioned having tried to feed dried peas to the rabbits. If I recall correctly she said that they ignored whole dried peas, but that they accepted them soaked (softened). I believe she said she makes a kind of hard biscuit for them with ground peas and that they love that and grew very well on it. Perhaps she will come back and confirm that I have that right. I read it once, thought I'd come back later and then there was the crash.
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Old 01/03/09, 07:49 PM
 
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Regarding Peas

I grew a variety in the garden that I didn't much care for, yet didn't have an alternative so I munched on them. Once the plants came to the end of their productive cycle I pulled the whole plant for the one rabbit I had at the time. She would eat it and the overgrown peas in the pod.

The stalks pretty much would dry up when still in the ground. Perhaps it would be easy enough to tie them up together and hang to dry until being used for feed: stalk and peas in pod still on plant.

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Old 01/03/09, 07:57 PM
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Is it better to feed your bun's the homemade mix rather than the rabbit pellets from the store? I mix up a similar feed mix for my goats minus the wheat & I tried it on the rabbits when we 1st got them but they left hull's in the dishes which I then put in the goats dishes & they finished them off.
Our prices here are much higher trinityoaks on everything but the sunflower seeds are about the same price.

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Old 01/03/09, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MaggieJ
You have to be careful about oat nomenclature. It seems to vary quite a bit from place to place. Here, rolled oats are just lightly rolled and still full of husks. They might more correctly be called crimped oats. It's a good idea to ask detailed questions or see a sample so you know what you are getting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trinityoaks View Post
This is true. I have bought rolled barley at the grocery store (when I couldn't find pearl barley) that was packaged for human consumption, and I have bought rolled barley at the feed store (packaged for animal consumption). As you say, the feed-store barley is really crimped rather than fully rolled, and it does still have bits of hull, non-grain plant matter, etc. in it.
Thanks for the additional information...I would not want to lead anyone astray. I was thinking that perhaps the difference was a country thing... but it sounds like the same thing is happening in Texas. Here "crimped" oats are simply crimped oats. I guess I need to be more careful as there is such a geographicly widespread participation in this forum. (after all, where I grew up "muck" was swamp mud )
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Old 01/03/09, 08:36 PM
aka avdpas77
 
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Originally Posted by MaggieJ View Post
Minor bug... but feeling better today, thanks.

I believe it was SquashNut who mentioned having tried to feed dried peas to the rabbits. If I recall correctly she said that they ignored whole dried peas, but that they accepted them soaked (softened). I believe she said she makes a kind of hard biscuit for them with ground peas and that they love that and grew very well on it. Perhaps she will come back and confirm that I have that right. I read it once, thought I'd come back later and then there was the crash.
I use peas (pulse) to feed other animals, they have all the protien without the (before cooking) toxins that soybeans have. I had been wondering if rabbits would eat them, and whoever tried had had no luck with them dry.

I would be very careful with using them soaked, (they might be ok carefully sprouted). When soaked they will spoil very rapidly. (not talking mold here, talking spoiled like meat)
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Old 01/03/09, 09:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Skip View Post
I grew a variety in the garden that I didn't much care for, yet didn't have an alternative so I munched on them. Once the plants came to the end of their productive cycle I pulled the whole plant for the one rabbit I had at the time. She would eat it and the overgrown peas in the pod.

The stalks pretty much would dry up when still in the ground. Perhaps it would be easy enough to tie them up together and hang to dry until being used for feed: stalk and peas in pod still on plant.
Several sources I have come across mention using spent pea vines as hay for the buns. I don't see why you couldn't leave the peas attached, but you may find they ignore them. I'm thinking something round and hard like dried peas may be difficult for rabbits to eat. I'm planning to try them cracked. I'll post results when I get to it.
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Old 01/03/09, 09:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Backfourty,MI. View Post
Is it better to feed your bun's the homemade mix rather than the rabbit pellets from the store? I mix up a similar feed mix for my goats minus the wheat & I tried it on the rabbits when we 1st got them but they left hull's in the dishes which I then put in the goats dishes & they finished them off.
Our prices here are much higher trinityoaks on everything but the sunflower seeds are about the same price.
No, it's not necessarily better. There are a number of reasons some of us are interested in working on it. For some people, it is because of the problems that keep cropping up in livestock and pet feed. For others, it is because they can only get certain brands of pellets and they don't like them for one reason or another. (I quit feeding pellets as soon as I could after finding out there was animal tallow in them.) For some people, it is a way to ensure they can raise rabbits if the SHTF and the economy really gets bad. Many of us want a more natural meat, not necessarily organic but one that is the result of feeding natural whole foods to the buns. And so on. All kinds of reasons... but I don't think any of us are saying it is better, per se.
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  #23  
Old 07/25/09, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by trinityoaks View Post
I went to the feed store yesterday to price out ingredients for Oren Reynolds' recipe. Here's what I came up with (all prices are for 50-lb bags):

whole oats: $8.50
alfalfa pellets: $7.50
wheat: $10.50
rolled barley: $12.66
black oil sunflower seed: $26.30

Interestingly, a small bale of alfalfa hay, approximately 50 lbs, is also $7.50.

For reference, here is the recipe and protein calculation:
Code:
GRAIN	      PARTS	      PROTEIN %        TOTAL	
Oats	        6	x	14.0	=	84.0	
Wheat	        1	x	12.5	=	12.5	
Sunflower seed	1	x	26.3	=	26.3	
Barley	        1	x	12.3	=	12.3	
Alfalfa hay	4	x	20.0	=	80.0	
TOTALS	       13		               215.1	

	215.1	÷	13.0	=	16.5% protein
I crunched the numbers, and the homemade mixture works out to about 20 cents per pound, or $130.30 for 650 lbs (a full recipe of one 50-lb bag per part). That's about $10.04 for 50 lbs, compared with $14.65 for "complete-feed" rabbit pellets. To me, that's quite a savings, certainly worth mixing my own. Not only that, but if I had to, I could grow all of those ingredients myself.

Incidentally, MaggieJ, you were wondering about the higher proportion of oats in Mr. Reynolds' recipe. Looking at the above, my first thought is that it's because the oats are considerably less expensive than the other grains. Is it not also true that oats are more easily digested (by both rabbits and humans)? Just some thoughts. . .
So I finally got around to checking into this recipe. Took it with me to the feed store, and the owner even offered to mix it up for me. But, come to find out, for a 50 lb bag of this, it would cost me $12.65. I can get a 50 lb bag of 18% rabbit pellets for $11.50. So, I'll be sticking with my pellets. Still feeding my hay and greens too.
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  #24  
Old 07/25/09, 11:22 AM
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I feed COB, which is corn, oats, and barley
Quote:
Corn, fresh or dried, is NOT safe for rabbits. The hull of corn kernels is composed of a complex polysaccharide (not cellulose and pectin, of which plant cell walls are more commonly composed, and which a rabbit can digest) which rabbits cannot digest. We know of more than one rabbit who suffered intestinal impactions because of the indigestible corn hulls. After emergency medical treatment, when the poor rabbits finally passed the corn, their fecal pellets were nearly solid corn hulls! Those rabbits were lucky.
http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/diet.html
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Old 07/25/09, 11:57 AM
 
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Bearfootfarm, corn as a major part of a rabbit's diet is problematic, I agree. However, I have had no problems feeding small quantities of cracked corn in with oats and barley. Since grain is only a very small percentage of their diet with the majority being hay and greens, the amount of corn is really very small. Sometimes they don't eat it and it gets thrown to the chickens.

COB used to be corn, oats and barley, in that order. Since the increased demand for corn for ethanol (and increased prices) the grain mix is really better described as BOC. I feel the concerns about corn for rabbits are valid, but we need to keep the larger picture in mind.

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Old 07/25/09, 02:08 PM
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COB used to be corn, oats and barley, in that order. Since the increased demand for corn for ethanol (and increased prices) the grain mix is really better described as BOC. I feel the concerns about corn for rabbits are valid, but we need to keep the larger picture in mind.
That would make a big difference.
I just remembered reading about corn being harmful, and thought I'd pass the information along.
Many make their own mixtures, and may not realize that too much corn could be dangerous for rabbits
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Old 07/25/09, 02:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Bearfootfarm View Post
That would make a big difference.
I just remembered reading about corn being harmful, and thought I'd pass the information along.
Many make their own mixtures, and may not realize that too much corn could be dangerous for rabbits
Certainly worth mentioning, especially with all the new members and the increasing interest in alternate feeding methods.
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  #28  
Old 08/06/09, 02:57 PM
 
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rabbit diet

Oops!

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Old 08/07/09, 04:00 AM
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Would it prevent waste if you had a separate container for each type of feed? That is what my MIL did for her fattening rabbits, though she had far fewer ingredients.

She was not confident enough to feed her breeders anything but pellets and greens as she was afraid they would get fat: she never worried about that for a slaughter rabbit!

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Old 08/07/09, 06:09 AM
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little off topic but in line with this discusion,

you folks ever seen a pellet mill , they are a pretty simple contraption, basicly
a cylinder with holes the size of the pellets all over then two rollers that are that are turned by a motor, rollers entering cylinder from one of the open sides and a hopper the other open side, hopper is filled mill turned on and rollers force the material out the holes. now the one I looked at also had another hopper wich dumped into something like a reel mower (to chop and blend) then in to the cylinders feed hooper, I figured you could just use a commercial blender for that step. you could take a slightly different approach and instead of a mill make a press say a arbor press with a pellet die plate or maybe something like a cider press or pasta press but larger. I've simplified it a little bit because the mill also cut and dried the pellets cause you need some sort of binder wich has to dry but if you had someway of sliding a screen rack under the press as the "pellet log" where extruded you could air dry it in racks and gently break into smaller pieces before storing.

Ive been kicking this around awhile trying to work it out thats as far as Ive got maybe I can inspire someone with the seed and they can enlighten me? am I babbling?

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