Twenty four French Alpine goats (39 ± 2·0 kg) were individually housed in a completely randomized design and fed a basal diet containing 146 g crude protein and 356 g neutral detergent fibre (NDF)/kg in the absence (control – CTRL) or presence (CELL) of 2 ml of cellulase/kg dry matter intake (DMI) for 70 days, which included a 10-day adaptation period. The feed was offered three times daily at 07·00, 13·00 and 19·00 h, but the single daily dose of cellulase was only fed at 07·00 h. Goats were hand-milked daily; milk production recorded and samples taken for compositional analysis. During the last 5 days of the experimental period, goats from each group were individually housed in stainless steel metabolic cages to enable separate and total collection of faeces and urine for nutrient digestibility and ruminal fermentation determinations. Goats fed CELL had greater DMI and greater digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter and NDF than CTRL goats. CELL goats had greater ruminal pH, concentration of acetic acid and concentration of propionic acid than CTRL goats. However, the concentration of ruminal butyric was lower in CELL goats compared with CTRL goats. CELL goats had greater milk yield, energy corrected milk, milk energy content, milk energy output and milk density than CTRL goats and the milk content for total solids, fat, protein and lactose were also greater for CELL goats than for the CTRL goats. The milk of CELL goats had greater palmitoleic acid, cis-10-heptadecanoic acid content and mono-saturated acids than the milk of CTRL goats and lower linoleic acid, linolenic acid contents and saturated fatty acids than the milk of CTRL goats. These results suggest that addition of 2 ml cellulase/kg DM of feed in the diet of lactating French Alpine goats elevated their milk production and improved its composition probably due to improved feed utilization.