Author Topic: I'm gonna get a bunneh.  (Read 6077 times)

Offline ThaRatChick

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I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« on: February 07, 2012, 06:40:09 PM »
My neighbors raise rabbits for fairs. I don't have any small pets at the moment, so I decided I'm going to take one of their rabbits. They can take it back if they want to show it in a fair, and I can give it back if I decide I'm not cut out to be a rabbit owner.

The thing is, it's going to be an intact rabbit. My first try will be a male, (Speedy Gonzalez) who is brown and medium sized. I think his ears are floppy. (You didn't really need to know that, but details make it more interesting, so just go with it.)

Anyways, the topic of this here topic is the housing. I wanted to take this little hallway off of my room and fence it off.


But I need to figure out something for the floor. We were thinking a tarp that was tacked into the wall on the edges, and maybe a couple towels or something for his traction. He would have a litter box, but I'm not sure if he'll pee in it. Right now, he poops in one corner like most rabbits. Another option we thought of was linoleum, but it seems a little too in-depth considering the uncertainty of the situation.

Another thing. Hopefully he doesn't spray or destroy my baseboards or anything. If he is unbearable spray-y or in any other way undesirable, I would like to try one of the girl bunnies that the neighbors have. Again, intact, hopefully she isn't destructive or crazy.

My dad was also thinking a dog crate. This is a valid possibility.

So, that's the situation. Any thoughts/comments/concerns/suggestions/questions/random gems of miraculous information?
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Offline harpbeat339

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 03:27:52 PM »
I'm no expert on rabbits, but I have seen people use coroplast attached to the base of the wall (look up C&C cages) to prevent the wall getting sprayed. Also, for the floor, you could use larger sheets of coroplast to prevent leaks onto the floor and maybe put a hallway rug over that. That's all I can think of.
Hope this helps!
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Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2012, 04:53:23 PM »
I considered that, but I thought we could figure out a way to do it without ordering coroplast.
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Offline RattiesSix

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 03:07:27 AM »
Try two cheap shower curtains put together. You'll definitely want a large litter box that he can easily get in and out of, big enough for his entire body. Towels and cage pads for traction. Putting a kennel or carrier in there with his bed would be nice for him, too.

Females rabbits also spray urine if they are intact, by the way.

Provide tons of chews for him so he isn't interested in the baseboards. Wood chews, baby teething toys, wooden blocks, toilet paper rolls, boxes, lots of hay, etc. The more he has to do, the less likely he'll chew.

Good luck!

Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 04:35:34 PM »
I've got a big litter box, I'm using the base of  an old rat cage. I'll put a little carrier hidey thing in there that I wouldn't mind him chewing.

Time to look around for some chew toys! I'll see if I can take some hay from the neighbors.

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Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 06:59:35 PM »
How old is this boy? When my gents hit about 4.5-5 months old, they <cosmic space voice> LOST THEIR MINDS </cosmic space voice>.

As in, "Even though I'm perfectly litter trained, I will poop exactly 3.5 times my own body weight morning and evening and will manage to cover every square inch of available floor space in an even layer. For some unknown reason, this will not kill me. If I run out of space, I'll fling it out the sides, or make interesting sculptures in the corners while simultaneously humping the food dish."
 
And, "I"m sure you think you're very clever, cutting up strips of clear carpet runner to edge my pen to a height of 8 inches. However, I can still pee OVER it. I will never let you see me do this, and to your dying breath you will think I was in need of an exorcist. Heh, heh, heh."

We saw the vet instead. Just (snip) saying (snip).

For the floor, I got the plastic fake grass stuff from WM that's about $18 per 4x4 roll. It's soft enough for feetsies, excellent for binking, and all you could ever want with a shower curtain liner underneath. Totally hoseable, get two to swap out if you can't cut one in half. I threw a couple of cheapie carpet samples down to give a different texture. (I tried an old towel, but it got bunched into a ball and became impregnated, and I had to rehome a litter of little towelettes... but I digress.) Outside pen is a puppy pen, also from WM, around $45. It's 8, 2x2 panels that you can shape as you like, and even up against a wall it keeps the boys off the walls and woodwork.

Seriously, once they're trained nothing is easier than a bun to keep, other than hay is messy no matter what you do. They are friendly and affectionate in their way, and can stand time to themselves as well. My boys are sweet and loving, but if I was doing it again I'd have them neutered as early as possible or I'd consider does.

Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 07:39:58 PM »
I don't know how old he is yet.

See, I don't think the neighbors would quite take to their rabbit getting his little jewels cut off, and I don't feel like I make the commitment to my own bunny. I'm afraid I'll have to go to college and not know what to do with it or I'll get tired of it or something. Now I'm wondering quite how bad an intact female would be... Also I'm wondering if part of it is if they're together. I'm only getting this one guy/maybe girl if it doesn't work out, so maybe he won't be crazy? Heh? *fingers crossed*

Would the fake grass shtuff be easy to clean in a tub/shower? Hoses aren't exactly usable in the winter where I live.

If the hallway doesn't work out, I can always see about a dog crate.
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Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 08:03:25 PM »
I think the hallway looks great, though I'd cover that gorgeous floor big time, and there would be something between the walls/woodwork and the bun. The first time I laid the grass, I put a waterproof mattress pad underneath and I think it was better/more durable than the shower curtain liner, just cost a bit more. I only have laminate to protect, but if I had hardwood I'd probably do a couple layers just in case.

I'm sure it's entirely possible that that level of marking we got to was because there were two. One may not be as bad, but half of what I had is still too much for indoors. I don't have any experience with only one, so I can't help with what to expect there, or with a doe either. I do know either sex will benefit from a companion.

The grass stuff could be cleaned in a tub or shower, but it might be pretty bulky to get in there if you were using a whole roll at once. From the looks of your hall, you may be able to get two pieces out of one roll, and that would be easier to handle in the tub.

Offline JessicasZooCrew

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 08:19:51 PM »
This may make me sound like a jerk but I am going to recommend you do not get the rabbit. It seems like you are really unsure so maybe you are not ready. Rabbits are a HUGE commitment and I personally do not think it's fair to the bunny in question to bring him to your house, get tired of him, then return him.

Maybe you can just play with their bunnies from time to time, bring them over for a few hours or something?

Also, if the friends show at the fair and the bunny is in your care, then really they should not show the rabbit in their name. It's just not ethical.

Now, if you do decide to get the bunny, I am not sure how well that area would work for an intact bunny. As pointed out, bucks and does spray. Bucks can be a bit more outgoing once they have passed the donkey stage (all rabbits go through what I refer to as bunny teens). I would personally make a vynal floor runner of sorts to put over the wood floor and use fleece blankets/liners on top of that. Bunnies like to chew so they need lots of chew toys, lots of toys they can toss around to occupy their time. I would still try litter training, but it may not work with an intact bunny. My show bunnies live alone because they are intact. However, I do give them play time with spayed/neutered bunnies. My intact does also do ok together for play time.

You are aware that rabbits require fresh hay (timothy, orchard grass are best - I have used a og/oat blend they seem to like). I go through about a bale every other week with 14 rabbits (12 of my own, 2 fosters). Obviously, you would go through less with 1 rabbit. Oxbow makes a good timothy based pellet. I recieved info on another brand that also is timothy based, am waiting on a sample bag of food to try on 2 rabbits and more nutrition info so cannot recommend it at this time. It is considerably cheaper, I currently spend about $100 a month to feed 14 rabbits (just my pellet cost, hay is $26 a bale, I grow dandelions and clover and most of the veggies and herbs that I feed, but probably still spend about $25 every other week on fruits and veggies for the bird, rats, and bunnies). I love my rabbits, but they are not a pet for everyone. I have had bunnies live to be 12 years old, have had them pass as young as 6 but in general it's at least an 8 year commitment.

Good luck with whatever you decide :)
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Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2012, 09:34:25 PM »
Jessica, you don't sound like a jerk at all. You never do.

Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2012, 11:03:52 PM »
I completely understand where you're coming from. I know I sound unsure and stuff, and why you feel I should go for it. But I'm going to. The reason I'm going about it this way is so I can have an animal without a commitment. It sounds bad, but it's just my view and what I'm going to try.

I don't know much about the show stuff. I shall consult them.

From what I see of his cage, he sticks to pooping in one corner. I just need to find out what corner he'll pick and work off of that, hopefully. I think we'll go with something plastic tacked in on the edges and something like the fake grass stuff over it.

As for the food, I'm just going to take food from the neighbors, along with hay. That way, he won't have to deal with adjusting and I won't have to go out of my way to get his food.
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Offline JessicasZooCrew

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2012, 11:38:36 PM »


As for the food, I'm just going to take food from the neighbors, along with hay. That way, he won't have to deal with adjusting and I won't have to go out of my way to get his food.

But see, this right here bothers me. If you have a pet, any pet, you should WANT to go out of your way to provide the best possible care for them. Let's put it this way, if I was still breeding you would not have made my pet home cut by this statement. Please remember that rabbits have feelings too, as corny as that may sound to you.

Anyway, I wish you the best of luck. I hope you decide right away weather or not the bunny is a right fit for you. I was on the rabbit committee for our local fair a couple years - fair rules do differ from state to state and even county to county but they are similarities and usually if the rabbit is to be shown it has to be in the care of the person showing it. I have worked with 4-H and FFA kids and it's also rules of those organizations. If they are no longer showing the bunny, you may want to get permission to neuter him. It really makes a difference.

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Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2012, 01:42:05 PM »
Well I think he'll like living here as opposed to living outside in a wire cage like he is now. I will talk to them about showing and how they should not do it if I'm keeping him.

And they told me he's two or three.
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Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 01:02:38 PM »
So his cage is set up and Speedy's getting settled in.




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Offline JessicasZooCrew

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 02:59:53 PM »
What size is the pen?

How much does Speedy weigh? He looks to be a Mini Lop (well, that's what he'd be called in the US anyway - lol) but could be a French Lop as Mini Lops are just a smaller version of the French Lop. His color is chestnut (or chestnut agouti, depending on the breeder's pedigree program).

I have 2 retired spayed mini lop girls - Hannah is almost 5 (she's a chocolate chinchilla) and Arista is 3 (she's a chestnut agouti).
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Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 05:29:51 PM »
The floor is about 3x4.5 feet. I'm not sure how much he weighs because I'm terrible at guessing and I don't have a scale.

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Offline JessicasZooCrew

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 09:02:45 PM »
The minimum weight for a French Lop is 10lbs, but they typically weigh 12 - 15lbs, my Stanley was an 18 pounder.  Mini Lop weight is 4 1/2 - 6 1/2 pounds (5-6lbs being more typical though my Hannah is a big girl and stays around 7lbs since her spay).

Weight is important to know because you feed pellets based on weight. If you are feeding 1/2-3/4 cup of pellets it's a mini lop. My frenchie always had a supply of hay and pellets - I'd say he probably went through 1 1/2 - 2 cups a day.
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Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2012, 06:38:50 PM »
He's a mini, my dad and sister guessed about 7 pounds. I was just going with what the neighbors were doing, keeping food and hay available all the time.

And he doesn't use the litter box. So we're gonna try and work on that.
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Offline Garavar

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2012, 09:41:30 PM »
Your speedy is quite the cutie! I used to have a Dutch, and he stayed out in the barn because of his spraying issues, but he was fairly litter trained, poo wise. The best way to litter train is put their poos in their box (I see you've already done that), and reward them every time they use the box properly. Giving them treat for just sitting in it won't work. Max also liked his litter box to be lined with hay/grass, for comfort I guess.
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Offline JessicasZooCrew

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2012, 12:07:12 AM »
You probably will never be able to get a rabbit to 100% use a litter box for poo, which is ok because rabbit poo doesn't really smell that bad (did I just say that? lol). You definately want to urine train because urine can stink. I use apple cider vinegar in my water bottles (1 tsp per 32 oz of water) which has reduces the amonia smell in the urine and supposedly also helps with digestion. You may never be able to fully urine train him either since he is not neutered.

Mini Lops do tend to put on weight and are piggies so I would monitor his pellets a bit closer. If they have shown him, he's under 6 1/2lbs (7lbs would be a DQ for him, unless they show him in a pet class).

For my quartette I have 1 ML (Hannah) who has a weight issue... kinda hard to reduce feed when you have 4 rabbits living together. Everyone else is at an ok weight (hay, veggies, fruits, treats)... Hanny just likes to eat constantly. She's also my friendliest and most outgoing girly and the favorite amongst my nieces and nephews so I've had to not alllow them to give treats anymore.
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Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2012, 10:41:07 PM »
I'll start restricting his food a little, and I'll be careful with the treats. He actually picked a corner today, and so far there's pee AND  poop in it. WOO

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Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2012, 11:07:03 PM »
He's a very handsome boy. How's he doing with coming in from the outside?

Offline ThaRatChick

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2012, 07:29:34 AM »
He's doing pretty good, even though I didn't leave enough smell in his litter box and he decided not to pick another corner.  :doh:

I was petting him yesterday and he started doing a little grinding. I read that this means he's happy, so that's coolio. He definitely enjoys hopping around, sexually violating a stuffed animal, and doing a little toy-throwing. Also he likes sleeping. And he tends to look dead when he's sleeping, which is a little unsettling.

And I'm actually getting used to having a loud bunny in my room during the night. I don't think I woke up at all last night. WOO!
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Offline JesB

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #23 on: March 15, 2012, 02:33:19 PM »
After reading all this talk of marking bucks ... I feel I must have been extremely lucky in my previous, and current, rabbits.  Squishy was 9 or 10 when he passed ... and he never marked a day in his life.  I had Lector for several years as well with no marking, even when they were directly caged together.  Neither were ever neutered, although I considered it after the spat that caused me to separate them.  I also had a doe who never once marked either.  All were housed in the same room but in separate set ups.  Now I just have Leonitus, and now that he's not a baby, and I've also moved out of my friends tiny 3rd bedroom in the apartment and into a house, he's getting his first C&C cage this weekend.  I never once was concerned with him marking, but after reading this all today, I think I'll cover the pet room walls with a shower liner.  No chewing issues to worry about with that, as the cage will be too far away from the wall to reach it.  Haha.

Have you noticed him marking?  Do the majority of unaltered bunnies mark?

I'm also not sure why everyone says bunnies are troublesome with litter training ... I've never even tried to train any of mine, but even now, in the super pets cage Leo is currently in, he jumps back in if he has to potty ... all of my rabbits always have.  Have I just been lucky here?

Also, if I do get Leo a companion, which I would like to, is it safe to have two unaltered boys together?  If not, does only one have to be altered or do both have to be?  I'm not concerned with the costs of it or anything, more so with the safety of the intro period.  Now that I'm finally settled again and I know I'll be living here for at least the next year, I can plan on getting him neutered soon.  I want to do my research on the local vets and their bunny experience before I do anything.

Thanks.

BTW - I'm a big fan of people using hall ways or big closets for rabbit set ups.  When me and my friends first settled on this house to move to, I specifically selected the room with the stairs to the attic so that I could use the actual bedroom for the boys (rat and rabbit, soon to be 2 ratties again after this weekend) and then have my bedroom in the attic.  This means my roommates have access to play with the boys with out having to worry about what I'm doing.  I was actually hoping for a little hall way or big closet to use, but just a big enough room works for me!

PS - he makes Leo look tiny!  I forgot how big even the mini-lops can be!

Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2012, 06:38:29 PM »
It's great that your boys never marked - mine did to the point that I was amazed at just how much poo they could produce without dropping dead - or at least passing out. LOL

These two were setting up for some serious competition, though - both insist they're alpha, even after neutering. They can and do live next door to each other with only a wire puppy pen fence between them, and they will lay together on each side of it and even groom one anothe through the bars, but they cannot share a space. From what I understand, this is rare.

As for litter training, I didn't really train them, just provided a litter box and they did the rest. While hormones were raging they didn't use it much, but after the neuter they went right back to it and now use it all the time.

Putting two unaltered males together would depend on the bunnies, I think. Others with more experience may chime in on that one. If I hadn't had out of control teens, I wouldn't have neutered my boys - wish I wouldn't have had to, but they were bad enough that it was that or they had to go outside.

Offline JesB

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2012, 07:49:40 PM »
Leo is right around a year old right now ... what is considered 'teenage' years for rabbits?  He's never tried humping anything ... the worst thing he does is rub his face on the outside of his cage when he's out ... and on the rat cage.  lol

Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2012, 08:04:33 PM »
Hormones kicked in with mine at about 5 months, so I'd say you're past it. lol That face rubbing is actually marking, though, too. Sounds like you have a very sweet boy. Even if you get another one that's a bit more aggressive, they might get along okay if your guy is willing to be number 2. If you go with a rescue, they may let you try one out to see if it will work.

Offline JesB

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2012, 09:00:46 PM »
That's a thought.  I don't know if we have any bunny rescues around.  Like I said, I'm not against neutering at all, I just want to at least check out the vets around here.

Offline CarrieD

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2012, 09:21:53 PM »
Nope, not against it here, either, but I always weigh whether the risk of surgery to the little ones is worth it. If I have to, I do - if not, I don't.

Offline JessicasZooCrew

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Re: I'm gonna get a bunneh.
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2012, 10:02:56 PM »
I would never put 2 unaltered male rabbits together ever. Even keeping 2 unaltered females together can be a tad risky but can be done, if done carefully and at the right age. I'm not even sure I would put in an unaltered and altered male together.

Rabbits go through the teenage years from about 3-4 months until 9-10 months, depending on the rabbit.

None of my rabbits have ever "marked" their territory like a dog, but I have had experience with spraying. Does can be worse about spraying then bucks, and it could be a fear thing (I have 1 doe that will spray any man that walks by her, even my husband... just one of her quirks).

Alot of rabbit rescues will not adopt a second rabbit to you unless the first is fixed, but still contact them. If nothing else they can usually lead you to the best vet.

 
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