The objective of this study was to determine the pattern of energy metabolites net flux across the portal-drained viscera (PDV) and total splanchnic tissues (TSP) in mature sheep fed varying levels of lucerne hay cubes. Four Suffolk mature sheep (61.4 ± 3.6 kg BW) surgically fitted with multi-catheters were fed four levels of dry matter intake (DMI) of lucerne hay cubes ranging from 0.4- to 1.6-fold the metabolizable energy (ME) requirements for maintenance. Six sets of blood samples were simultaneously collected from arterial and venous catheters at 30-min intervals. With increasing DMI, apparent total tract digestibility increased linearly and quadratically for dry matter (P < 0.05), quadratically (P < 0.05) with a linear tendency (P < 0.1) for organic matter and tended to increase quadratically (P < 0.1) for NDF. PDV release of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and β-hydroxybutyric acid was relatively low at 0.4 M and then linearly increased (P < 0.05) with increasing DMI. Net PDV flux of non-esterified fatty acids showed curvilinear decrease from 0.4 to 1.2 M and then increased at 1.6 M. The respective proportions of each VFA appearing in the portal blood differed (P < 0.05) with DMI and this difference was more obvious from 0.4 to 0.8 M than from 0.8 to 1.6 M. Heat production, as a percentage of ME intake (MEI), decreased linearly (P < 0.05) with increasing DMI accounting for 37%, 21%, 16% and 13% for PDV and 62%, 49%, 33% and 27% for TSP at 0.4, 0.8, 1.2 and 1.6 M, respectively. As a proportion of MEI, total energy recovery including heat production, decreased linearly with increasing DMI (P < 0.05) accounting for 113%, 83%, 62% and 57% for PDV and 140%, 129%, 86% and 83% for TSP at 0.4, 0.8, 1.2 and 1.6 M, respectively. Regression analysis revealed a linear response between MEI (MJ/day per kg BW) and total energy release (MJ/day per kg BW) across the PDV and TSP, respectively. However, respective contributions of energy metabolites to net energy release across the PDV and TSP were highly variable among treatments and did not follow the same pattern of changes in DMI.