Good nutrition and management in the dry period is a major challenge but getting it right can help to minimise calving problems and early lactation metabolic disorders. The level of feeding in the dry period has been found to affect early lactation performance, over-feeding being more harmful than slight under-feeding. Cows should dry off at a condition score in the range of 2.5-3.0 and calve down in the same range. If dry cows consume too much energy, they will accumulate fat. Towards the end of the dry period their dry matter intake will be significantly reduced, increasing the risk of fatty liver, ketosis and LDAs at calving.