Dairy producers sent 261,000 cows to slaughter in February 2012, 12,000 more than February 2011, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
But leap year plays a bit of havoc comparing year-to-year numbers. On a day-of-business basis, they sent roughly the same number: 12,420 head/day in 2012 and 12,450 head per day in 2011.
Compared to January 2012, culling was actually up on that same business day comparison. Producers sent 264,000 total cows to slaughter in January, or 12,000 head per day.