The role of iodine deficiency in stillbirth/perinatal weak calf syndrome was investigated in pregnant heifers. Five heifers were fed an iodine deficient diet (mean [sd] iodine concentration 0.06 [0.01] mg/kg dry matter [DM]) and six received an iodine sufficient diet (mean [sd] iodine concentration 1.45 [0.27] mg/kg DM). The diets consisted of wheat and soyabean meal with added minerals and vitamins (with or without iodine) and were fed to the heifers over the final four to five months of pregnancy. The iodine deficient diet produced clinicopathological changes and pathological changes in the thyroid glands of both the heifers and their offspring. However, all the calves in the iodine deficient group were born clinically normal.
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