To study the effect of feeding silages with different botanical composition, on rumen and lamb fat, 30 male lambs were assigned to five different silage groups for 11 weeks: botanically diverse silage (BDS); white clover silage (WCS); red clover silage (RCS), intensive English ryegrass silage (IRS) and crushed linseed and maize silage (MSL). Besides the silages, animals received organic wheat and barley and the MSL group additionally received bicarbonate (15 g/day). Silages were sampled when the bales were opened and analysed for fatty acid (FA) content and chemical composition. At slaughter, ruminal contents were sampled and 24 h after slaughter, longissimus muscle and subcutaneous (SC) fat were sampled. All samples were analysed for FA composition. The MSL group ingested the highest amount of FA (35.8 g/day v. 13.5, 19.4, 17.2 and 30.4 g/day for MSL v. BDS, WCS, RCS and IRS, respectively) and the sum of the major polyunsaturated FA, C18:2 n-6 and C18:3 n-3, was similar for groups BDS, WCS, RCS and MSL (61.3 g/100 g, 62.3 g/100 g, 62.3 g/100 g, 63.7 g/100 g of FA methylesters (FAME), respectively), while group IRS ingested higher proportions of these FA (74.5 g/100 g of FAME). Rumen data showed that animals fed BDS presented higher proportions of biohydrogenation intermediates, particularly C18:1 t11 and CLA c9t11, suggesting partial inhibition of rumen biohydrogenation. In the MSL group, the content of C18:3 n-3 in the rumen was highest, most probably due to reduced lipolysis and hence biohydrogenation through the combined effect of esterified C18:3 n-3 and seed protection. Additionally, C18:3 n-3 proportions were higher in rumen contents of RCS animals compared with WCS animals, which could be due to the activity of the polyphenol oxidase enzyme in the RC silages. Proportions of C18:3 n-3 were similar between treatments both for SC and intramuscular (IM) fat, whereas CLA c9t11 content was higher in the SC fat of BDS animals and lower in the IM fat of IRS animals compared with the other forage groups. No differences were found for C20:4 n-6, C20:5 n-3, C22:5 n-3 and C22:6 n-3 in the IM fat of the animals. Nevertheless, indices for desaturation and elongation activity in muscle of BDS animals suggest some stimulation of the first three steps of desaturation and elongation (Δ6-desaturase, elongase and Δ5-desaturase) of long-chain FA.