Cows in most of the research trials conducted at the W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute are weighed every week.

All cows are weighed at dry off and again at 18-24 days before their due date. After freshening, each cow is weighed again. This information is used to monitor weight gain/loss during the dry period.

"Recently we weighed a group of early-lactation cows (2nd lactation and greater at 30-70 days in milk)," reports Anna Pape with the Miner Institute. "The group of cows was fairly small — 17 animals — but we learned some interesting things about our herd."

Cows with a smooth transition into lactation lost, on average, 250 pounds from freshening to 30-70 days in milk. Cows with health problems — displaced abomasum, lameness, mastitis — lost 100-175 pounds more than their healthy counterparts.

Weight loss in early lactation isn’t the whole picture, though... 

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Source: May 2012 Miner Agricultural Research Institute Farm Report