A comparative study on the voluntary feed intake of lactating and dry cows under natural grazing conditions was undertaken with two breeds the Simmenthaler and the Africander. The trial was carried out over a 6 month period from November 1971 until April 1972. Feed intake over a 10 day period was measured at monthly intervals. The pasture was in a dormant stage until the first rain which occurred in January 1972. The feed intake of the lactating cows of both breeds was significantly higher than that of the dry cows. A substantial consumption was found by calves at the early age of 4 to 5 months.