Abstract The effects of grain processing and form of the concentrate mixture were studied on early weaned lambs, kids and calves. Fattening diets were based on ad libitum feeding of concentrates and a minimum amount (0.1 kg day −1) of lucerne hay. Feeding whole grain to lambs increased dry matter and nitrogen digestibilities, but had no effect on gain or feed-to-gain ratios compared with lambs fed processed grains. Calves on the pelleted diet had similar growth rates compared with those on the whole grain diet, but feed utilization was better for the pelleted diet. Growth rate and feed-to-gain ratios of early weaned kids on the pelleted diet was better than that of kids on the whole grain diet.