Two experiments were conducted to determine the influence of dietary fibres on small intestine histomorphology and lipid metabolism in broilers from 1 to 21 day of age. In experiment 1, diets containing insoluble [cellulose (CEL); 2% and 4%] or soluble [carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC); 2% and 4%] fibre were fed to broilers from day 1 to 21 post-hatch and ileal tissue was collected at day 21 of age for histological evaluation. In experiment 2, broilers diet was supplemented with 0%, 1% or 2% insoluble fibre (Arbocel) during day 7 to 21 post-hatch and plasma and liver lipid metabolism were evaluated at day 21. In experiment 1, inclusion of CMC reduced body weight gain (BWG) and feed intake (FI) and increased feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared with others. Intestinal histomorphology was unaffected by CEL, but CMC led to an increase in crypt depth (CD) and serosa thickness and a decrease in villus height (VH), villus width (VW), VH:CD ratio and villus surface area (VSA), rather than control and CEL groups. Treatment did not affect goblet cell type. Moreover, the CMC-fed birds had greater total goblet cell count (GCC) as compared with others. In experiment 2, fibre inclusion was associated with increases in BWG from 7 to 14 day of age and an improvement in FCR, whereas FI was not influenced by treatments. Inclusion of fibre in the diet decreased the weight of the abdominal fat and cholesterol concentrations of liver and plasma. No significant effects on fatty acid composition of liver lipid were observed by fibre supplementation. These findings suggest dietary fibre affects performance, intestinal histomorphology and lipid metabolism in young chicks, which may directly affect poultry feeding strategies.