A study was carried out, from 2012 to 2015, in 10 French départements to estimate the serological prevalence of Q fever and the frequency of abortive episodes potentially related to Coxiella burnetii in a large sample of cattle, sheep and goat herds. The serological survey covered 731 cattle, 522 sheep and 349 goat herds, randomly sampled. The frequency of abortive episodes potentially related to C. burnetii was estimated by investigating series of abortions in 2695 cattle, 658 sheep and 105 goat herds using quantitative polymerase chain reaction analyses and complementary serological results when needed. The average between-herd seroprevalence was significantly lower for cattle (36·0%) than for sheep (55·7%) and goats (61·0%) and significantly higher for dairy herds (64·9% for cattle and 75·6% for sheep) than for meat herds (18·9% for cattle and 39·8% for sheep). Within-herd seroprevalence was also significantly higher for goats (41·5%) than for cattle (22·2%) and sheep (25·7%). During the study period, we estimated that 2·7% (n = 90), 6·2% (n = 48) and 16·7% (n = 19) of the abortive episodes investigated could be ‘potentially related to C. burnetii’in cattle, sheep and goat herds, respectively. Overall, strong variability was observed between départements and species, suggesting that risk factors such as herd density and farming practices play a role in disease transmission and maintenance.