Estimation of farm prevalence is common in veterinary research. Typically, not all animals within the farm are sampled, and imperfect tests are used. Often, assumptions about herd sizes and sampling proportions are made, which may be invalid in smallholder settings. We propose an alternative method for estimating farm prevalence in the context of Brucella seroprevalence estimation in an endemic region of Kazakhstan. We collected 210 milk samples from Otar district, with a population of about 1000 cattle and 16 000 small ruminants, and tested them using an indirect ELISA. Individual-level prevalence and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using Taylor series linearization. A model was developed to estimate the smallholding prevalence, taking into account variable sampling proportions and uncertainty in the test accuracy. We estimate that 73% of households that we sampled had at least one Brucella-seropositive animal (95% credible interval 68–82). We estimate that 58% (95% confidence interval 40–76) of lactating small ruminants and 14% (95% confidence interval 1–28) of lactating cows were seropositive. Our results suggest that brucellosis is highly endemic in the area and conflict with those of the official brucellosis-testing programme, which found that in 2013 0% of cows and 1·7% of small ruminants were seropositive.