Article Text

High incidence of abortions and congenital deformities of unknown aetiology in a beef herd
  1. TB Nicolson,
  2. PF Nettleton,
  3. JA Spence and
  4. KH Calder


In 1980, 16 abortions or stillbirths occurred and 26 deformed calves were born in a beef herd of 115 Friesian cross Hereford cows mated to Charolais bulls. The deformities were principally arthrogryposes with contractures, particularly of the forelimbs, and various skull abnormalities. Following investigation it was considered highly unlikely that hereditary causes, infectious agents or a nutritional deficiency were responsible. The most likely cause was exposure to an unidentified teratogen early in pregnancy.

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.