The behaviour of forty four Friesian cows, housed in an enclosed cubicle shed at Moorepark Research Centre, was studied during the weeks before and after calving in an attempt to identify behavioural indications of imminent parturition. Four behavioural activities-feeding, ruminating, lying and standing - were recorded at thirty-minute intervals over twenty four hours once a week for a period of approximately seven weeks. Food intake of a subgroup of cows was also followed continuously during this period. Feeding, rumination and food intake each showed a regular and significant decline from at least three weeks before calving and a regular increase during the first three weeks of lactation. There was no significant variation in lying activity. Data on the laterality of lying showed that cows with twins (including those cows already calved) tended to lie preferentially on their left side (p < 0.01), but no preference was found in dams of singletons. Calving did not change the trends in lying posture for either twin and single calvers.