BACKGROUND: High rumen-degradable starch (RDS) diets decrease milk fat. The increase of LPS in plasma associated with increased RDS impairs liver function, immune response and lipid metabolism, which depress the precursors for milk fat. OBJECTIVE: This study investigated the mechanism of depression of milk fat precursors in the liver and small intestine of dairy goats fed different RDS diets. METHOD: Eighteen Guanzhong lactating goats (second lactation, 45.8 ± 1.54 kg) and 6 ruminally cannulated dairy goats (aged 2-3 y, 54.0 ± 2.40 kg) were fed 3 different diets with low dietary RDS concentrations of 20.52% (LRDS), medium RDS of 22.15% (MRDS), and high RDS of 24.88% (HRDS) for 36 and 21 d, respectively, in experiments 1 and 2. The liver metabolites and jejunal microbiota in experiment 1 and LPS concentrations in rumen fluid and plasma in experiment 2 were measured. One-way ANOVA was used to analyze the biochemical parameters and mRNA or protein expression. The MIXED procedure was used to analyze LPS concentrations. RESULTS: In experiment 1, the HRDS diet showed increased activity of alkaline phosphatase (27.4 to 41.4 U/L) in plasma (P < 0.05) compared with LRDS treatment. The HRDS diet significantly increased the hepatic concentrations of l-carnitine (129%), l-palmitoylcarnitine (306%), taurochenodeoxycholate (856%), and taurodeoxycholic acid (588%) in liver (variable importance in the projection > 1, P < 0.10) compared with the LRDS treatment. Goats fed the HRDS diet had 33.6% greater liver protein expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1 (P < 0.05), and greater relative abundance of Firmicutes and Ruminococcus 2 in the jejunal content (linear discriminant analysis > 2.0, P < 0.05) than did goats fed LRDS diet. In experiment 2, goats fed the HRDS diet had greater LPS concentrations in rumen fluid (7.57 to 13.6 kEU/mL) and plasma (0.037 to 0.179 EU/mL) (P < 0.05) than did goats fed LRDS diet. CONCLUSIONS: Feeding the HRDS diet promoted hepatic lipid β-oxidation and disrupted phospholipid and bile acids metabolisms in liver, thereby reducing the supply of lipogenic precursors to the mammary gland in dairy goats.