Impaired fertility and weak calf syndrome due to inadequate nutrition Academic Article uri icon


  • The herd described in this column exhibited excess calf mortality and low pregnancy rates as a result of copper deficiency and protein/calorie malnutrition due to a combination of overstocking, inadequate weed control, lack of pasture and hay fertilization, and inadequate protein and energy supplementation during the winter. We originally recommended that the owner divide the cows in this herd into two groups on the basis of body condition score. The owner followed our recommendations for supplemental feeding for the group of thin cows but not for the cows in good body condition. Because of differences in nutritional management, the body condition of the previously thin cows improved, whereas the cows that had been in good body condition became thin. After the owner followed our nutritional recommendations for all of the cows, calf health and cow pregnancy rate improved dramatically.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wikse, S. E., Herd, D. B., Field, R. W., Edwards, J. F., Dorsett, D. J., & Knape, G. G.

complete list of authors

  • Wikse, SE||Herd, DB||Field, RW||Edwards, JF||Dorsett, DJ||Knape, GG

publication date

  • November 1997