The effects of dietary starch fermentability on feed intake and nutrient digestibility were evaluated in a crossover study, which was also designed to find factors that predict individual variation in feed intake response to starch fermentability. Thirty-two multiparous Holstein cows (121 +/- 48 d in milk, 44 +/- 7 kg/d of milk yield; mean +/- SD) were randomly assigned to treatment sequence and were fed a diet intermediate to the treatments during a preliminary 28-d period. Treatments were dry ground corn grain and high-moisture corn harvested from the same field. Treatment periods were 14 d, with the final 4 d used for data and sample collection. Diets included corn silage and alfalfa haylage at a 21 ratio and were 26% neutral detergent fiber, 17% crude protein, 32% starch, and 3.5% fatty acids. High-moisture corn decreased dry matter intake (DMI) by 8%, but did not significantly alter digestible DMI. Individual DMI responses were highly variable, and variables from preliminary plasma analyses, propionate challenge tests, glucose tolerance tests, and hepatic mRNA analysis were assessed as potential predictors of DMI response to increased dietary starch fermentability. Of the covariates tested, only preliminary plasma insulin concentration and insulin response to glucose infusion were significant predictors of DMI response. High preliminary plasma insulin concentration was correlated with greater depression in DMI with increased fermentability; conversely, greater insulin secretion in response to glucose infusion was associated with minimal depression in DMI. These insulin variables were not significantly correlated. Consistent with past results, increased dietary starch fermentability decreased DMI. Significant correlations between insulin variables and individual DMI responses may warrant further investigation.