Overall, we found the NoFence collars to be an extremely effective deterrent. There were some technical problems during the calibration stage, but these were quickly resolved. These issues were offset by the lack of a need for physical fencing and the ease with which sheep could be monitored.
In trials involving sheep it was discovered that the animals had to be correctly shorn for collars to work correctly. Matted or thick wool around necks tended to cause units to fail. These units were easy to identify in the app, and a quick haircut solved the issue.
Two collars entered an error state during the first two months of the trial – attempts were made to fix this issue remotely, but eventually the problem necessitated a site visit. Some minor adjustments to the ways in which the sheep were initially handled were also required, while minor issues with collar design prompted the use of WD40. Potential battery life issues with some units due to their reliance on solar energy are being investigated by NoFence.
Virtual fence boundaries are changed in seconds, maximising land use and reducing animal management costs. Heat maps of animal movements provide invaluable insights into grazing intensity and animal behaviour. GPS allows easy tracking of animals in complex terrain.
Flexible grazing patterns can restore natural ecosystem dynamics, rewilding landscapes at significantly lower cost. The removal of physical barriers improves dispersal of wildlife, connecting fragmented habitats, making nature more resilient.
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