Abortion in flocks can cause dramatic losses in production. Ewes usually abort in the last month of pregnancy; however increased numbers of barren ewes can also be a sign that something is wrong.
All abortions should be investigated thoroughly. The aborted foetuses and placenta should be taken to the lab for examination. At the end of lambing it’s possible to blood sample a proportion of the barren ewes to try and find out the cause of the abortion outbreak.
The two main causes of abortion in sheep are Enzootic Abortion of Ewes (EAE) and Toxoplasmosis. There are vaccines available for both of these conditions.
It should also be remembered that a number of causes of sheep abortion are zoonotic (affects people) and are particularly dangerous to children and women of child bearing age.