An investigation was undertaken to ascertain the possibility of a relationship between calcium, inorganic phosphorus, magnesium, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D], and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations in blood plasma and occurrence of congenital joint laxity and dwarfism (CJLD) in young cattle. Pregnant cows were fed hay (30 cows) or grass silage (122 cows) during winter months (October 15 to calving in March). Blood samples were taken from cows on seven occasions during the experiment and 48 hours after calving, and from calves at birth, and at seven, 14 and 56 days old. Five per cent of calves born (six of 122) to cows fed grass silage and none born to cows fed hay were affected by CJLD. The diet and health status of calves were not significantly (P greater than 0.05) associated with the plasma concentration of 1,25(OH)2D. The plasma calcium concentration declined with age of the calves (P less than 0.05) but was not affected by the occurrence of CJLD. Plasma phosphorus and magnesium concentrations in calves born to cows fed silage were higher (P less than 0.05) than in those born to cows fed hay. At birth and seven days old, plasma phosphorus concentrations were higher (P less than 0.05) in CJLD-affected calves than in healthy calves but the plasma concentration of IGF-1 was not different (P greater than 0.05). It was concluded that the high plasma phosphorus concentrations in CJLD-affected calves and their dams could be related to the aetiology of the CJLD condition in calves.