We measured a bone-formation marker recognizing osteocalcin, and a bone-resorption marker recognizing C-telopeptide (CT(x)) fragments of collagen type I, in a longitudinal study. The levels of these markers in the plasma of dairy cows (n=11) were recorded over a 12 month postpartum period, including a full lactation and a dry period. The plasma concentration of CT(x) was highest in the first week after parturition. It then declined slowly over the next 33 weeks and remained low until the next parturition. Osteocalcin concentration was lowest around parturition, reached a plateau during mid-lactation, then fell again towards term. There were large variations in bone metabolism during a lactation, that were not directly related to milk production. These results may be used to facilitate appropriate adjustments to calcium and phosphorous concentrations in the diet, reflecting the specific needs of each stage of the reproductive cycle.