Factors influencing the growth and mortality patterns of young were examined in a small population of European wild rabbits. Juveniles were trapped and tagged for individual identification soon after their emergence from underground nests. Age was estimated from weight on first capture and survivorship determined from the last date individuals were observed. Differences in growth rates of young born throughout the season and between the three years of the study were related to population density. Maternal social status had no significant effect on post-emergence growth rates of kittens, or on offspring survival. Young born in females' first litters of the season, in March, had significantly lower mortality than subsequent litters. Cats and stoats were regularly observed on the study site and are likely to have been major agents of juvenile mortality. There was no difference in the growth rates of the sexes, and correspondingly non-breeding adult males and females were of similar body weight. From their first days above ground juvenile males suffered significantly higher mortality than females. Differential mortality may be linked to previously reported sex differences in behaviour if the greater activity of young males made them more vulnerable to predation or attack by neighbouring territorial conspecifics.