The objective of the present study was to elucidate the effect of perinatal cobalt chloride (CoCl2) exposure on extramedullary erythropoiesis in suckling mice in relation to iron (Fe) content and transferrin receptor (TfR) expression. Pregnant ICR mice were subjected to a daily dose of 75 mg CoCl2/kg body weight 2–3 days prior and 18 days after delivery. Co exposure significantly increased erythrocyte count (RBC), and reduced the erythrocytic parameters mean corpuscular volume (MCV) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) in the offspring. Total iron-binding capacity (TIBC) was decreased while bilirubin values were ~ 1.2-fold higher in the metal-exposed mice. Perinatal CoCl2 treatment also induced pathohistological changes in target organs (spleen, liver, and kidneys) as altered organ weight indices, leukocyte infiltration, abundant Kupffer cells in the liver, increased mesangial cellularity, and reduced capsular space in the kidney. CoCl2 administration induced significant 68-, 3.8-, 41.3-, and 162-fold increase of Co content in the kidney, spleen, liver, and RBC, respectively. Fe content in the target organs of CoCl2-treated mice was also significantly elevated. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated that TfR1 was well expressed in the renal tubules, hepatocytes, the red pulp, and marginal zone of white pulp in the spleen. TfR2 showed similar expression pattern, but its expression was stronger in the spleen and liver samples of Co-treated mice compared with that of the untreated controls. The results demonstrate that exposure to CoCl2 during late pregnancy and early postnatal period affects body and organ weights and alters hematological and biochemical parameters, iron content, and TfR expression in target organs. © 2019, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.