Cows that exercise during the dry period experience less health problems after calving, according to Michigan State University research.

Dry cows that walked at the rate of two miles per hour, using a mechanical walker designed for horses, had fewer health disorders post-calving than cows that did not exercise. In fact, only three out of 13 dry cows that exercised for at least 75 minutes every other day experienced a health problem, compared to eight out of 13 non-exercised cows. Milk production between the groups did not vary.

You can help dry cows remain active by placing feed and water at opposite ends of the pen or dry lot.