A trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of sodium bicarbonate (BC) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, live yeast culture (yea sacc(1026), YS) on ruminal fermentation and blood variables. Four Kivircik rams with ruminal cannula were used in a Latin square design, during 27-day periods (20 days for adaptation and 7 days for collection). They received 0 (control group), 5 g/day (i.e. 25 x 10(9) CFU) of YS or 10 g/day of sodium BC or 10 g/day of BC and 5 g/day of YS (BC + YS) (treatment groups). The cultures and sodium BC were added to the ration in a grain mix. The ration consisted of 70% grain mix and 30% lucerne hay. Rumen contents were collected before and 3 h and 6 h after morning feeding on days 1 and 7 in each collection period and were analyzed. Blood samples were also collected on the same days. Ruminal pH at 3 h (p <= 0.1) and 6 h (p <= 0.05) after feeding were higher when rams were fed BC and BC + YS than when they were fed CG and YS. Addition of YS to the diet did not modify the proportions of the different protozoa types; only Diplodinium at 0 h tended to be lower (p < 0.1) when rams were fed YS, BC and BC + YS than when they were fed CG. Plasma sodium value decreased by YS and BC + YS. Other biochemical and haematological variables were not affected by treatments. Also total volatile fatty acid, NH3-N concentrations and protozoa counts in the ruminal fluid were not affected by treatments.