Suboptimal vitamin B2 status is encountered globally. Riboflavin deficiency depresses growth and results in a fatty liver. The underlying mechanisms remain to be established and an overview of molecular alterations is lacking. We investigated hepatic proteome changes induced by riboflavin deficiency to explain its effects on growth and hepatic lipid metabolism. In all, 360 1-d-old Pekin ducks were divided into three groups of 120 birds each, with twelve replicates and ten birds per replicate. For 21 d, the ducks were fed ad libitum a control diet (CAL), a riboflavin-deficient diet (RD) or were pair-fed with the control diet to the mean daily intake of the RD group (CPF). When comparing RD with CAL and CPF, growth depression, liver enlargement, liver lipid accumulation and enhanced liver SFA (C6 : 0, C12 : 0, C16 : 0, C18 : 0) were observed. In RD, thirty-two proteins were enhanced and thirty-one diminished (>1·5-fold) compared with CAL and CPF. Selected proteins were confirmed by Western blotting. The diminished proteins are mainly involved in fatty acid β-oxidation and the mitochondrial electron transport chain (ETC), whereas the enhanced proteins are mainly involved in TAG and cholesterol biosynthesis. RD causes liver lipid accumulation and growth depression probably by impairing fatty acid β-oxidation and ETC. These findings contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of liver lipid metabolic disorders due to RD.