A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of pre partum (PRE) and post partum (POST) dietary energy and nutrient supply (E) and their interactions on feed intake, performance and energy status in dairy cows of three breeds. In this experiment, the effects of three energy and nutrient supply levels (low (L), medium (M), high (H)), both pre-calving and post-calving, were investigated, using a 3×3 factorial arrangement of treatments. In both phases (84 days pre- and 105 days post-calving) E levels applied to a total of 81 multiparous cows of breeds Simmental (SI), Brown Swiss (BS) and Holstein–Friesian (HF; n=27 for each breed), were 75%, 100% and 125% of recommendations of the German Society of Nutrition Physiology (GfE). Dry matter intake (DMI) was restricted, if energy intake exceeded target values. Pre partum DMI and energy intake were different as designed, liveweight and body condition score (BCS) of SI cows were higher, but EB was lower, compared to BS and HF cows. Milk yield and composition were influenced by all three main experimental factors (EPRE, EPOST, breed). Energy-corrected milk yield was 25.6, 28.6 and 30.1 kg/day for LPRE, MPRE and HPRE as well as 21.5, 30.1 and 32.6 kg/day for LPOST, MPOST and HPOST, respectively. Numerically, only for milk protein content the interactions EPRE×EPOST and EPRE×breed reached significance. Impact of energy supply pre-calving was more pronounced when cows had lower energy supply post-calving and vice versa. On the other hand, milk yield response of cows to energy supply above requirements was greater for cows that were fed on a low energy level pre partum. Impact of energy level pre partum was higher for HF cows, showing that their milk production relies to a greater extent on mobilization of body reserves. Increasing energy supply pre partum led to a more negative energy balance post partum, mainly by increasing milk yield and content, whereas feed intake was slightly reduced. Increasing energy supply post partum enhanced milk yield as well as milk protein and lactose content. Calculated energy balance corresponded well with liveweight and BCS change. Response of milk yield to increasing energy supply followed the principle of diminishing returns, since energy was increasingly partitioned to body retention. Increasing energy supply pre partum enhances milk yield and content post partum, but exacerbates negative energy balance and its consequences.