An experiment was carried out to examine the effects of offering beef steers grass silage (GS) as the sole forage, lupins/triticale silage (LTS) as the sole forage, a mixture of LTS and GS at a ratio of 70:30 on a dry matter (DM) basis, vetch/barley silage (VBS) as the sole forage, a mixture of VBS and GS at a ratio of 70:30 on a DM basis, giving a total of five silage diets. Each of the five silage diets was supplemented with 2 and 5 kg of concentrates/head/day in a 5 × 2 factorial design to evaluate the five silages at two levels of concentrate intake and to examine possible interactions between silage type and concentrate intake. A total of 80 beef steers were used in the 122-day experiment. The GS was well preserved while the whole crop cereal/legume silages had high ammonia-nitrogen (N) concentrations, low lactic acid concentrations and low butyric acid concentrations For GS, LTS, LTS/GS, VBS and VBS/GS, respectively, silage DM intakes were 6.5, 7.0, 7.2, 6.1 and 6.6 (s.e.d. 0.55) kg/day and live weight gains were 0.94, 0.72, 0.63, 0.65 and 0.73 (s.e.d. 0.076) kg/day. Silage type did not affect carcass fatness, the colour or tenderness of meat or the fatty acid composition of the intramuscular fat in the longissimus dorsi muscle.