With lambing under way or rapidly approaching, the vast majority of sheep farmers will see some degree of abortion.
This may be very visible or may only be seen as empty ewes at the end of the lambing period. These ewes can be very valuable due to the information that they hold within their immune system. Barren or aborted ewes can be blood sampled to discover the diseases present on farm which may be negatively affecting the flock. Abortion is often caused by either enzootic abortion (Chlamydophila abortus), or toxoplasmosis (toxoplasma gondii). There is subsidised testing available to look for these diseases and if they are found, the sheep can be protected against them through vaccination.
If you have suffered with over 2% barren rate or abortion then vaccination can be a very effective way of boosting your income through improving flock productivity with more lambs to sell at the end of the season. The key to success is to permanently mark either by red ear tag, ear notch or physical removal from the flock, the ewes that have aborted or who are barren so they can be later identified and tested between 1st March and 31st July.