The nutritive value of four silages was compared using eight rumenfistulated wethers. Wilted ryegrass was ensiled without additive (A); with formic acid (13·9 kg/t dry matter) (B); with formic acid (10·3 kg/t dry matter) plus formalin (formaldehyde at 4·8 kg/t dry matter) (C); with formic acid (4·9 kg/t dry matter) plus formalin (formaldehyde at 2·3 kg/t dry matter) plus propionic acid (5·6 kg/t dry matter) (D). Dry-matter intakes were 13·8, 15·1, 14·3 and 14·3 g/kg live weight for A, B, C and D respectively. Digestibilities of organic matter and dry matter were not affected by the additives. Digestibility of nitrogen and peak ruminal ammonia concentration were significantly (P<0·05) reduced by the addition of formaldehyde. The effect on rumen fermentation characteristics, of chemically restricting in-silo fermentation, is illustrated. Differences in the rumen volatile fatty acids and in the efficiency of utilization of the energy for growth, fattening and lactation are discussed.