With Nofence, you can design your Nofence pastures arbitrarily, irrespective of terrain and surroundings. The only limitation is the size: the Nofence pasture can have a maximum of 39 Nofence posts, and a 3,2 km radius, which means that the pasture must fit within a square of 6.4 × 6.4 km.
It is important to have the animals’ natural behaviour in mind when creating Nofence pastures. Animals which are seasoned Nofence users also have a better understanding of how the system works than the freshmen. Narrow corridors and sharp angles may result in confusion because the animal can meet a new audio warning whilst trying to walk away from an existing one.
The Nofence boundary must be logical to the animal, so that it easily understands where to go once the audio warning starts playing.
You should also consider that, in practice, the grazing boundaries will fluctuate somewhat. Read more about this in the section on GPS accuracy. Information available at my.nofence.no gives you an historic overview of your animals’ whereabouts, where they are receiving the most audio warnings, and where they have received electric pulses. You should use this information to make adjustments to your Nofence boundary.
If the Nofence pasture is too small, has too little food, or possesses other characteristics that may motivativate the animal to escape, chances are that the discomfort of the situation may grow stronger than the aversion for the electric pulse delivered when escaping the Nofence pasture. If an escape occurs, it is important that you examine the reason why it happened in order to prevent it from happening again. If an animal is behaving out of the ordinary, there is usually a reason for it.
Please note that goats and certain sheep breeds have a strong herding instinct. Nofence strongly recommends acknowledging the animals’ herding instinct. As the animal custodian, this instinct will work to your benefit in the event of an escape. As the animal hears the audio warning, it will have a strong urge to return to the safety of the herd, which most likely is still inside the Nofence pasture. Therefore, Nofence recommends that our technology should be used for herds comprising at least 4 individuals.
In a herd there will normally be different relationships between the animals, such as drifters, kinship, friendship, and animosity. Nofence discourages the use of our grazing technology to split herds into smaller groups if the distance between the Nofence pastures is small enough for the animals to see, hear or smell each other. Nor is it recommended that two Nofence pastures overlap so that two or more herds share parts of the same pasture. This will confuse the animals and increase the risk of undesired events.
The illustrations below show examples of both good and poor pasture design. These are general illustrations, and it is important that you use your knowledge of your land and your animals to design good Nofence pastures suitable for your use.
In this first example, the boundaries are placed too closely to the house and the GPS position will be incorrect due to reflections from the building. As the animals walk alongside the barn, the collar records GPS positions that are too poor for the operating mode to function. Once the collar gets back into the open, the operating mode will come back on. Read more in the section about the GPS position boundary in the second illustration has been well-placed in relation to the building, and there is no risk of disruption of the GPS signal.
Where exclusion zones are established to fence off a smaller area from the Nofence pasture, you must consider the size of areas available to the animals.
For example, if you fence off every individual fruit tree in an orchard, it will be difficult for the animals to understand as they will have only narrow corridors to move in. In such cases, they will encounter the boundaries regardless of which way they turn. When you gather all fruit trees in one ‘hole’ in the pasture, it will be straightforward and easy for the animals to understand.
Nofence boundaries that run straight through buildings are likely to cause inaccurate GPS positions, both inside the buildings and where the boundary meets the wall. Inside buildings, the animals may receive audio warnings and electric pulses unless there are shelter beacons installed. One possible solution for keeping the animals close to the building within this farmyard: Add Nofence boundaries where the red dotted line is, and supplement with physical fences at the orange marks.
When the animals are resting, poor GPS positions may occurs due to inactivity. If the animals are resting close to the edges of the Nofence pasture, this may result in GPS positions that are perceived as located outside the boundary. In such cases, the animals may experience audio warnings or electric pulses when they are lying down and resting.
Steep terrain such as cliff drops or large rocks may also results in inaccurate positioning due to GPS shadow. If you create your Nofence boundary at the bottom of a cliff drop, it is likely that there will be disturbances to the GPS signal there.
The recorded accuracy of a Nofence boundary is affected by two factors. One is the speed and movement pattern of the animal when it passes the grazing boundary. The second is the perceived GPS accuracy of the collar at any time. We recommend testing one of the collars across the boundary before you start training your animals. Observe where the audio warning starts, test several times and at different locations along the grazing boundary. This will give you a better understanding of the animal experiences wearing a collar, and it will give you important information about how to design the grazing boundaries. Fence off critical areas with good margin to begin with, observe the animals when they are nearby, and then consider if the Nofence boudary can be adjusted.
Experience shows that animals which are compentent Nofence users may loiter in the warning zone for a short time (up to 20 seconds) before they turn back to the Nofence pasture in order to avoid the electric pulse.
Here are three examples of poorly designed Nofence pastures that will be too complicated for the animals.
The corridors become too narrow, and animals encounter the boundaries whichever way they turn. The Nofence pasture will be too narrow, and the animals will not understand in which direction to turn in order to switch off the audio warning.
Create a larger space on one side.
Grazing ditches or channel after haymaking, when you can create a more spacious pasture because the animals are allowed to roam into the fields without damaging the crop.