Two experiments were made to investigate the intake of cattle when offered straw and silage mixtures. In a trial of changeover design 12 Friesian castrates (steers) were offered five diets. These were grass silage alone or mixed with untreated or NaOH treated straw supplying 20 or 40% of the total dry matter. The addition of 20% straw to the diet significantly reduced dry matter intake, and a further reduction occurred at 40%. Treating the straw with NaOh did not increase dry matter intake but led to an associated increase in digestible organic matter intake. Twelve Ayrshire heifers were given four diets in a trial of changeover design. The diets were silage only and three straw : silage mixtures in which straw provided 40% of the dry matter. The straws were untreated, NaOH treated or KOH treated. Untreated straw markedly depressed dry matter intake; NaOH raised the digestibility of straw and thus increased digestible organic matter intake significantly. The dry matter intake of the heifers was much greater than anticipated with the KOH treated straw : silage mixture and was similar to that achieved with silage only.