Absorption of niacin from the rumen was tested in vivo using a buffer solution that contained either nicotinic acid or nicotinamide. The experimental design was a 3 X 3 Latin square with three midlactation, ruminally cannulated Holstein cows. Orthogonal comparisons were control versus niacin and nicotinic acid versus nicotinamide. Nicotinamide was more rapidly absorbed from the rumen than nicotinic acid; this may have been caused by differences in the dissociation constants of the compounds. The effects that differential absorption may have on ruminal fermentation and animal metabolism require further study.