Abstract This study was conducted in lactating goats with the aim of measuring the deposition of trans-11 18:1 (vaccenic acid, VA) and the product of its Δ9-desaturation, cis-9, trans-11 18:2 (rumenic acid, RA), in the major tissues that are involved in lipid metabolism in the lactating ruminant (i.e., mammary secretory tissue, liver, and omental and perirenal adipose tissues) and examining its potential link with variations in the expression of genes encoding Δ9-desaturase [stearoyl-CoA desaturases 1 and 5 (SCD1 and SCD5)]. Eight lactating goats were fed a diet supplemented with sunflower oil (n=4) or sunflower oil plus fish oil and additional starch (n=4), based on the hypothesis that these dietary treatments could affect Δ9-desaturase gene expression in specific tissues. A chemical tracer, 1.5g of [1-13C]VA as nonesterified fatty acid, was delivered by jugular injection. Goats were slaughtered 4 d later, and tissue samples were collected for the measurement of [13C]VA and [13C]RA enrichment and SCD1 and SCD5 expression. The addition of fish oil and additional starch to a diet containing sunflower oil was associated with several changes in [13C]VA and [13C]RA enrichment. These results support previous studies suggesting that mammary secretory tissue is the primary site of Δ9-desaturation in lactating goats. In adipose tissues, the [13C]VA + [13C]RA enrichment was consistent with a net uptake of circulating fatty acids to reconstitute body reserves at the end of the lactation cycle. The putative uptake of [13C]RA synthesized by other tissues precludes any conclusion from being drawn regarding potential Δ9-desaturation in the liver of goats, despite the detection of SCD1 and SCD5 mRNA in this tissue. Finally, no significant effect of dietary treatment was observed for SCD1 or SCD5 mRNA abundance in the mammary secretory tissue or other body tissues.