To determine to what extent exposure to high ambient temperature and feeding level affect tissue energy metabolism in piglets, regional blood flow and oxidative capacity of tissues were evaluated in sixteen 21.8 ± 2.8 kg pigs. At 5 weeks of age, littermates were divided into three groups and acclimated to the treatment for 25 days. One group was reared at 33°C and fed ad libitum (33AL, n = 6) while the other two groups were maintained at 23°C and either pair-fed on the basis of the food consumption of their 33AL littermates (23PF, n = 5), or fed ad libitum (23AL, n = 5). Regional blood flow was determined in conscious pigs by injection of coloured microspheres, which were recovered in different tissues after slaughter. Activities of cytochrome oxidase and cytochrome aa3 content were measured in tissue homogenates of heart, longissimus dorsi and rhomboideus muscles, liver and small intestine. There was decreased blood flow to internal adipose tissue (42 %) and increased blood flow to peripheral tissues (skin, 44 %) and tissues implicated in respiratory evaporative heat loss (diaphragm, 45 %, lungs, 59 %) at 33°C compared to 23°C, which can be viewed as an effective mechanism for increasing heat loss at high temperature. In addition, the concomitant decrease in blood flow (49 %) and slight reduction of oxidative capacities in both muscles at 33°C might contribute to the reduction in thermogenesis, but these effects were also observed when the feeding level was reduced at thermal neutrality (23PF group). In the viscera (intestine, liver), blood flow was decreased in the two groups on a restricted food intake (about 50 % of 23AL), independently of environmental temperature. The results suggest that most of the mechanisms associated with the reduction in energy expenditure during warm acclimation are related to the adaptive reduction in food intake. Experimental Physiology (2001) 86.1, 83-91.