Small rabbits living outdoors will require a hutch of at least 5' x 2' x 18" high as an absolute minimum for a pair of small/medium sized bunnies such as mini lops.
Large breeds require considerably more space - French Lops will need a hutch of 6' wide x 3' deep x 2' high to allow ample room to stretch out, move around comfortably and groom themselves.
All bunnies will also need a larger exercise pen or safe area.
All outdoor bunnies should be housed in neutered pairs to provide companionship and stimulation to help prevent boredom. The ideal pairing is boy-girl while girl-girl littermate sisters as second preference. Boys should be neutered at puberty, ie about 12-14 weeks of age and girls should be spayed at 6 months of age.
Unless the hutch is sheltered all round, approximately 25-30% should be divided into 'sleeping quarters' (though this area is more commonly preferred as the toilet/litter tray area) and must be weather-proof.
Always ensure your hutch is placed in a sheltered area of the garden. Shelter from rain and draughts is essential as is shade from direct sun. Your rabbit can very rapidly develop heatstroke from being forced to bake in the sun and this leads to a very miserable death.
An increasing trend is to bring your bunny indoors to live as a house-rabbit. We always encourage this as it allows your bunny/bunnies to become real members of your family and you will see far more of their personality, character and benefit from increased interaction with your furry friend.
Bunnies can be either free-range but, if you're out at work all day and not 100% confident about leaving him/her/them to roam free, then indoor cages are available. Indoor cages provide an excellent 'base' for indoor bunnies. Smaller breeds can be confined to a cage whilst unsupervised (ie when you're out at work or overnight) but fitting a play pen to the front will allow extra space for exercise and play.
Larger breeds, eg French Lops, can use the cages as their 'base' - the cages are the perfect place for their bowls, bottle, litter tray and toys. However, French Lops and large breed bunnies must NOT be confined to these cages for longer periods as this will result in frustration as they are large bunnies who need space and they will need a play pen too if they are not free-range.Indoor
A play pen fitted in front of the cage and the cage door left open will allow your bunnies the freedom to hop in and out as they wish, provide ample space for unsupervised exercise and play time - and you can rest assured knowing that your cables and best furniture are safe!