Do not leave the animals in a Nofence pasture without supervision during training! The animals should be well-aquainted with the system before left unattended in their Nofence pasture. Leaving the animals without supervision before they have learned the relationship between the audio warning and the electric pulse will lead to escapes.
Observe the following as you start the learning process:
- Learning must take place at a location with satisfactory mobile and GPS coverage. Read more about this in the section Good pasture design and Accuracy of grazing boundaries in this guide. If you have any doubts, you should conduct a test by walking around with a collar in your hand.
- The animals must have a sense of security in the area where the learning takes place. If the animals are unfamiliar with the training location, letting them spend a couple of days there before the training starts may be a good idea.
- Stay with the animals throughout the learning process.
- All adult animals must wear a collar to safeguard animal welfare. In herds where some animals wear collars and others not, the animals wearing collars will ignore both audio warnings and electric pulses in order to follow the herd.
- The Nofence pasture must be designed so that it is understandable for the animals, and the Nofence boundary must be placed in areas that the animals will want to seek out. Frequent contact with the Nofence boundary results in better learning.
- Training pastures that are too small are likely to make the animals anxious, as they will encouter the audio warning too frequently.
- Training pastures that are too big, and where the Nofence boundary is too far from the animals’ dwellings, will result in few encounters with the audio warning. In effect, the training will take longer.
- Pasture designs with sharp angles and narrow corridors can be illogical to the animals, making it hard for them to figure out where the boundary is.
- Our experience from the training process indicates that animals must either receive an electric pulse themselves, or see another animal in the herd receive one in order for them to respect the audio warning.
- Training your animals in the winter may be a challenge, as they don’t roam far from their dwellings and feeders, and will be less motivated to seek out the areas close to the Nofence boundary.
- When there are many animals in the herd, those that normally stay at the back may not come into contact with the audio warning before the individuals at the front have turned. Make sure the individuals at the back of the herd also receive their training.
- The collar has two modes: operating mode and teach mode. The audio warning is more easily switched off in the teach mode than in the operating mode – it’s enough for the animal to turn its head to make the audio warning stop playing. This way, the animal gets an immediate response to its action, which makes learning how to switch off the audio warning easier. In the operating mode, the animal has to turn around and walk back towards the Nofence pasture in order to switch the audio warning off. The collar transitions from teach mode to operating mode once the number of recorded audio warnings is 20 more than electric pulses. When the collar is moved to a completely new pasture, the internal count is reset, and the collar reverts back to teach mode.
Below are two examples of how to do the training.
Example one takes place in a pasture that is fully fenced in with a physical fence. In example two, parts of the physical fence have been removed. However, it is recommended that training begins by using existing, physical fences.
In our illustrations, the physical fence is shown as black fence posts, while the Nofence boundary is illustrated by a red dotted line between blue corner posts.
The Nofence boundary cuts off a part of the existing pasture area. We recommend cuting off a part of the pasture that the animals will seek out for grazing as they have to cross the boundary to learn how the system works. There should be plenty of space outside the Nofence boundary (at least164 ft / 50 metres) so that they have the ability to escape through all three warning fields and calm down before encountering the physical fence on the opposite side.
When you start training your animals, the first electric pulse will often result in an escape, and you should equip yourself with some concentrate to get the animals back into the Nofence pasture. It is important that you are present during the learning process until you can see that the animals respect the audio warning and turn around when the scale starts playing.
The most important aspect of the learning process, is that the animals learn that they can turn the audio warning off by turning and going back into the Nofence pasture. Therefore, it is important that the boundaries are set in a manner that makes them logical to the animals. Create a simple pasture with simple boundaries. Avoid placing the boundary in complex terrain, on steep slopes or in areas with a lot of tall vegetation.
When an individual has experienced the audio warning and the subsequent delivery of the electric pulse a couple of times, it normally begins to understand the relationship between the two. When you see that the animals in the herd are well-aquaninted with the system and turn around when they hear the audio warning, you can consider removing the physical fence from the training pasture.
It’s important not to make too frequent changes to the Nofence pasture in the beginning of the training process. A stable and logical boundary makes for a more efficient learning process.
We recommend creating the training pasture in the vicinity of your home, so that you can monitor the animals’ progress. By observing the animals during the training period, you learn how they respond to the system. Should you observe conditions that you need time to correct, gather the animals and disable the collars via the mobile app.
When the animals have learned to master the connection between their behaviour and the audio warning, they can be moved to new pastures without using physical fences.
The second example for how to train your animals involves using physical fences only for parts of the training pasture. If you are certain that you will be able to collect and bring your animals back to the training area when they escape, you can use this method.
Are you new to keeping livestock? Make sure to allow your animals enough time to get to know their new grounds before embarking on the training. The animals should know and feel safe in the area where the training takes place. Experience shows that they establish a sense of security in a completely new location after approximately one week. However, this period will depend on several factors, such as the make-up of the herd and the individuals in it.