An experiment to test the effect on the voluntary food intake of lambs of giving diets containing 0, 20, 40 and 60% of either coarse or finely ground oat husks, in either a loose or pelleted form, is described and the results discussed. The results showed that voluntary intake was uniformly depressed with increased dilution of the diet with oat husks when the oat husks were coarse and the diet given loose. However, when the oat husks were finely ground and when the diet was pelleted the response to dilution was much modified and in the case of older, heavier lambs intake initially increased with dilution. It is concluded that ruminants may sometimes be able to respond to increased diet dilution so as to maintain their maximum digestible-energy intake but that the attempt is often thwarted to varying degrees according to the physical form of the food. An hypothesis is suggested for the pattern of response in food intake to be expected according to the type of food given.