Nutritional diseases can be caused by specific nutrient deficiencies, excesses or imbalances, or by metabolic disturbances.
Nutritional diseases of beef cattle, sheep and goats in Australia that can lead to significant economic loss include:
- Grass tetany
- Hypocalcaemia (milk fever)
- Ketosis (pregnancy toxaemia)
- Mineral deficiencies, including copper, selenium, cobalt and phosphorus
With all diseases and nutritional deficiencies, assess the risk based on previous local district history by seeking local information veterinarians, state government officers and consultants, and if available, the property history.
Intensification of beef, sheepmeat and goatmeat production systems is likely to increase the risk of some diseases and exacerbate some mineral deficiencies.