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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. We just got a French Lop for our Daughter. She is the sweetest thing ever!

Currently she is living indoors in a small wire dog kennel with a plastic bottom. I would say about 3ft by 2ft.

She is only 8 wks old so this is ok right now however we know she has the potential to reach over 20lbs. Her mom looked around 15lbs at least.

We want to build her a huge cage outdoors. How big should her hutch part of the cage be and how big of an outdoor space should we provide for her?

Anything Special we should know?

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

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Amateur Zookeeper
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Welcome to pt! The whole hutch should be minimum 40 inches by 46 inches. Then just add the sleep part off to the side! Hope it helps.
 

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If you let her outside to play in the dirt and grass, plan on deworming her twice a year. Make sure she has plenty of hay to dry off in should she get wet. The Humane Society used to recommend that outdoor hutches be at least 6ft long, but since they partnered with houserabbit organizations, standards on outdoor hutches have disappeared. 40 x 46 is a good size hutch, but bigger is always better. You may need to preditor proof your hutch. My hutches are inside chain link dog kennels, with bird netting overhead, because there are hawks in the area. When my rabbits were smaller, I covered the chain link with chicken wire, to keep them from getting their heads caught in the fence. Rabbits can dig out, and dogs and foxes can dig in. I don't have to worry about dogs or foxes, but I keep my rabbits from digging out by putting vinyl coated chicken wire on the ground around the perimeter. Rabbits like to hide the entrance of their tunnels, so look for digging under and around hutches. I use coated wire so my rabbits don't cut their paws should they try to dig through the wire.
 

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Can't Stop Touching Her Eyes
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You could keep her inside. My four are all litter box trained. It's not hard to get them trained. You should have her spayed as soon as the vet says she can be spayed. Spaying her will decrease or remove all chances of loosing her to "girlie" cancers. Besides that removing all those crazy bunny hormones will make her a much happier and more relaxed bunny. If she is having any problems taking to using the litter box spaying should help that too.
Back to keeping her inside. There are tons of options for such a big bun. You could just bunny proof the room she is kept in, or use an xpen to keep her contained, or build her a large cage out of NIC pieces. I would love to have a 15-20 pound bunny just free roaming the house! That's the size of my dogs now. I am so jealous! I have little 3-5 pound straight earred buns and I love them but I would love to get my arms around a big old bunny!!!
 

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Kathydip has some wonderful ideas. It is best to keep your rabbit where you can spend time with her and appreciate her. For many people, that place is in the house, but if someone in your family has allergies, or if there is someone in your household that does not appreciate the smell of a large rabbit, and if you like being outside, than outside is a good option. Your rabbit needs to be in the place that works best for you and your family. Rabbits, especially bunnies can be very destructive, so indoors you would need do a thorough job of bunny proofing your home. Outdoors, you need to predator proof your hutch and run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Predator Proof is the main issue, besides size.

I would love to keep her indoors but we can't. I have a large dog and he just "loves" her. We can't have her out unless he is chained up outside. Those two would not be a good combo at all.

We have looked all over town for a ready made Rabbit Hutch and we found one that would be a great home for a Dwarf but not for our Bun. Looks like we will be building it for sure if I can't find one online. Our summer has gotten really busy and I think I would like to purchase one instead of building it. Anyone of a good site to purchase from that has reasonable shipping to Northern BC

Thank you guys so much.
 

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Rodentologist
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I feel your pain on your doggie loving your animals too much. Clover, our dog, is very enthusiastic about all of our animals -- rats, guinea pigs, chinchillas, bunnies, you name it. Whenever we let them out to play, the dog gets put into the kitchen or bathroom with a babygate in front of it so that she can safely watch her friends and they can safely play. :) She is especially in love with my two new foster bunnies -- they lived outside in a hutch right up until the neighbor's dogs got loose and collapsed it right on top of them. They got lucky -- it happened to fall in a way that the dogs couldn't get into.
 

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She is especially in love with my two new foster bunnies -- they lived outside in a hutch right up until the neighbor's dogs got loose and collapsed it right on top of them. They got lucky -- it happened to fall in a way that the dogs couldn't get into.
This is exactly what I mean by the need to preditor proof. If dog kennels can be used to contain dogs to an area, they can be used to keep dogs out of an area. The dogs would have not gotten to this hutch if the hutch would have been inside of a dog kennel. FrenchLop, if you have a large dog in your yard, or if dogs can enter your yard, please consider putting your hutch inside of a kennel. Most kennels can also be padlocked to avoid other problems. Kennels also make great rabbit runs, providing the ground is protected from your rabbits digging out, or preditors from digging in. For most kennels, extra pannels can be purchased and used as a top, otherwise, other wire can be used.
 

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Rodentologist
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Actually, the dogs broke out of their kennel to come and get the bunnies. :)
 

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It must not have been a very good kennel! I feel for anyone who has to deal with dogs that can't be trusted. I had a cockatiel for 16 years. All it took was for one family member to forget to shut a door, and then leave the house for a short time, and I lost my little buddy forever. One of the family dogs killed him. Accidents can happen anywhere.
 

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Apparently there was a huge storm (which is very common in this area, we get 10-20 a year) that knocked a branch down on the kennel and let the dogs out. Just one of those things. Branches and trees come down all the time here.
 

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Aww how sad.
 

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Apparently there was a huge storm (which is very common in this area, we get 10-20 a year) that knocked a branch down on the kennel and let the dogs out. Just one of those things. Branches and trees come down all the time here.
What a coincidence! There was a storm here that knocked down our fence and let our dog escape! That is why our dog was in the house. She is a rescue dog that is destructive inside, and is never allowed inside unattended, but with the fence down, we had no choice.
 

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Yeah, unfortunately a lot of yee-haws here think that every animal belongs outside, regardless of weather. If the dogs or the bunnies had been inside there'd be no chance of anybody getting hurt. :(

They're happy now, though! The black and white doe has already been spayed and is doing awesome. She's in love with the AC and binkies around the vent before pancaking on it, it's hilarious!
 

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Yeah, unfortunately a lot of yee-haws here think that every animal belongs outside, regardless of weather. If the dogs or the bunnies had been inside there'd be no chance of anybody getting hurt. :(
Not everyone thinks of animals like family member, like most of us on this board do. Thank goodness times are changing, and people are starting to care more not only about pets, but also where our food comes from.


Our house is small, and if I didn't keep my buns outside, I wouldn't be able to have them. The only place they have inside to exercise is in a pet playpen. Outside they have lots of room to run and play, and I watch them do binkies. I have never seen them do binkies inside the playpen. It is easier for me to keep them safe from the dog outside, because inside doors get opened all the time, and there is no real safe place to keep them. Sometimes I bring a rabbit in the house for the night because I want to work with him/her, but I am a nervous wreck until I can get the rabbit back in the hutch, because I know it would be bad if that dog entered the room. I did manage to train the dog to leave my cats alone, but it took two months. I don't think I could put my rabbits under that kind of stress. I did have to work with our dog to not bark or jump at the rabbit kennel.


The biggest problem with weather here, is when we go through a heat spell. Then I put my rabbits in pet carriers and bring them in the house. They sit in the carriers in an air conditioned room until evening when it cools off, then they go outside again where they can get some exercise.
 
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