To evaluate the transfer of deoxynivalenol (DON) and its de-epoxy metabolite (de-epoxy-DON) in the plasma of chicken, mashed oats naturally contaminated with 9.5 mg DON/kg were fed to four broilers (35 days age) at a dose of 20 g/bird. Blood samples were then collected from two birds at 1 h, 3 h, and 5 h post-feeding, while from the other two birds at 2 h, 4 h, and 6 h post-feeding. Analysis of DON and de-epoxy-DON was carried out by using liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry after clean-up with immunoaffinity columns. At 1 h, 3 h, and 5 h post-feeding, the average values of plasma DON were 0.35 ng/ml, 0.20 ng/ml, and 0.15 ng/ml, respectively. The corresponding average values of de-epoxy-DON at these time points were 0.70 ng/ml, 0.80 ng/ml, and 0.25 ng/ml, respectively. The sum of DON and de-epoxy-DON appearing in the plasma at 1 h post-feeding in these birds was estimated to be 0.044% of the total DON fed. At 2 h, 4 h, and 6 h post-feeding, the average values of plasma DON were 0.85 ng/ml, 0.45 ng/ml, and 0.30 ng/ml. De-epoxy-DON could not be detected in the birds sampled at 2 h, 4 h, and 6 h post-feeding. The total amount of DON appearing in the plasma at 2 h post-feeding in these birds was estimated to be 0.036% of the DON fed. These data show that the absorption rate of DON is very low in broilers and that there is also a rapid transformation, and clearance from plasma. Furthermore, there appeared to be individual variability in the capacity of birds to de-epoxidise DON.