Frequently asked questions
Answers to common questions from our customers
How does Nofence work?
With Nofence, you can keep animals within a designated area, using virtual fencing. This makes it easy to give the animals access to larger, better and more varied pastures. The system consists of an app and a collar, and the two communicate over the mobile network. You can monitor your animals with the app, and you will get notifications in case anything unexpected happens.
How do I get started?
- Download the Nofence app via AppStore or Play Store. Use the same username and password for the web portal my.nofence.no. Make sure you allow push notifications.
- Charge the battery and attach it to the collar to turn it on.
- Get familiar with the app and find your collars under ‘Collars’.
- Start all the collars you want to use.
- Create a training pasture based on a physical fence, and set that for all the collars. Follow the app's instructions.
- Each collar has a unique serial number. Add the animal's name or ID number in the app to see which animal has a collar.
- When putting on the collars for the first time, make sure the neck strap isn't too tight or too loose.
- Once the animal is inside the Nofence pasture, the collar will activate, and training can begin.
How do I train the animals?
You start by training the animals for a period of approx. one week. They learn how to turn back to avoid the electric pulse the first day but need some more days to become experts.
For training to be successful, the animals must feel safe. It is best for both the farmer and animals to train within a physical fenced area. Then create a Nofence pasture that overlaps the physical fenced area, so they are fenced in by both physical fencing and one virtual fence line. The available pasture must be small enough for the animals to frequently come into contact with the Nofence boundary the first days, but still big enough to provide enough food and enough space so they keep calm during training.
How long does the battery for the cattle collar last?
This depends heavily on the grazing method. With larger pastures, the battery lasts the whole grazing season. The collars have solar panels, 50% bigger than the collar for sheep and goat, that charge the batteries (20Ah). On smaller pastures, where the animals are typically within 10-12 meters’ reach of the fence boundaries for longer periods, the batteries drain faster. This is because the collars have a much higher requirement for GPS precision close to the boundary than far from the boundary. Battery time is also affected by factors like connectivity blindspots, weather conditions or when the animals are in shade (i.e. forest). Collars should be stored with batteries 80% charged.
How long does the battery for the goat/sheep collar last?
This depends heavily on the grazing method. With larger pastures, the battery can last the whole grazing season. The collars have solar panels that charge the batteries (10Ah).
On smaller pastures, where the animals are typically within 10-12 meters’ reach of the fence boundaries for longer periods, the batteries drain faster. This is because the collars have a much higher requirement for GPS precision close to the boundary than far from the boundary. Battery time is also be affected by factors like connectivity blindspots, weather conditions or when the animals are in shade (ie. forest). Based on all of this, you should decide how many extra batteries you need for your collars. Some of our customers change batteries monthly and some not at all during the whole grazing season. Collars should be stored with batteries 80% charged.
What can I do to extend the battery life as much as possible?
How to achieve extended battery life:
- Create large pastures where the animals spend a significant amount of time at least 10-12 meters away from the Nofence boundary.
- Make sure there is adequate mobile network coverage within the pasture.
- Provide access to a lot of sunlight, preferably open spaces with significant parts of the day exposed to sunlight.
Use Nofence Beacons when applicable. Especially important for goats that seek shelter.
How accurate is the Nofence boundary?
The grazing boundaries will fluctuate somewhat. Unlike a physical fence, which represents a fixed and absolute hindrance for the animals, Nofence works as a zone. The reach of the zone depends on two factors:
- The pace of the animals
- The accuracy of the GPS positions
This means that the audio warning can start both before or after the Nofence boundary you have created in the map, but normally the fluctuation is +-1-2 metres (3-6 feet). When the audio warning starts sounding, the animal usually continues to move forward for a bit before it turns around. Combining these factors, you will experience that the animals can move 3-5 metres beyond the boundary created in the app.
A GPS receiver that does not move much can perceive a false position with higher accuracy than what is real, especially if there are buildings, large rocks or cliff drops nearby that reflect satellite signals. This is a well-known phenomenon in GPS technology. We therefore recommend that you set your Nofence boundary with a good margin from places where the animals like to rest. Nofence recommends using shelter beacons in sheds or at resting places.
How close to the road can I create the boundary?
First of all, your animals should have become experts before you set up a Nofence boundary close to a road with heavy traffic, and proved that they respect the audio zone over a longer period. The Nofence boundary should take into account the accuracy of the positioning and the extent of the audio zone.
What is the collar's weight?
- Weight collar unit: 858 g
- Weight battery: 450 g
- Weight neck strap: 138 g
- Total weight, carried by animal: 1446 g
Sheep and goat collar
- Weight collar unit: 292 g
- Weight battery: 192 g
- Weight neck strap: 21 g
- Total weight, carried by animal: 505 g
Is the collar intended to be worn on calves / lambs / kids?
Calves, kids, and lambs must have reached an adequate physical size before they start wearing collars. The animal must have an adequate size and build to carry a collar without it interfering with its natural behaviour.
There are large variations between species, breeds, and individuals. Nofence has no basis for giving exact advice about when animals are big or mature enough to start wearing a collar.
It is important that the size and weight of the collar do not limit the animal’s behaviour.
When using Nofence on small animals, it is extra important to check that the chain is in contact with the animal’s neck. If the neck is too small in relation to the length of the neck strap, the contact points will come too far down, and the animal may not feel the electric pulse. Efficient delivery of the electric pulse ensures that the animals learn how the system works, and to respect the Nofence boundary.
How old must a calf / lamb / kid be to wear a collar?
As a rule of thumb, young animals should be strong enough to wear a collar, mature enough to understand how the system works, and big enough for the chain to be in contact with the animal’s neck.
Do I have to put a collar on every animal?
For the sake of animal welfare, all adult animals in a herd must have a collar.
This prevents animals without a collar from dragging animals with a collar out of the grazing area.
Does the system work even if there is limited mobile coverage?
The collar communicates with our web portal and easy-to-use app via the mobile network. The fencing function only relies on the GNSS positioning system (GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO), but we recommend having mobile coverage in major parts of the pasture for monitoring and control in your app.
Can I have animals on different pastures?
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.
If the above criteria are met, you can have as many different pastures in your app as you like.
How big can a pasture be?
The Nofence pasture can have a maximum of 39 Nofence posts, and the pasture must fit within a square of 6.4 km (longitude) × 6.4 km (latitude).
Can I exclude areas within the Nofence pasture?
Yes, you can make areas within the pasture that work in the same way as the outer Nofence boundary. You can create up to 9 exclusion zones within each pasture. These exclusion zones must have simple geometries, allowing the animals to easily understand where they are not allowed to graze.
Can I monitor the battery status in the app?
Yes, you will have full monitoring of the battery status on all collars in your app, given that they are in an area with mobile reception.
How narrow can a corridor be?
If a corridor becomes too narrow, the animal may be confused because the animal can meet a new audio warning whilst trying to walk away from an existing one. In other words, they encounter the boundaries whichever way they turn.
We recommend the boundaries defining a corridor to be no less than 3o metres apart.
How does Nofence work inside a barn or a shed?
Any building can cause reflections of GPS signals, and especially for a collar that is not moving, this can cause the position to drift. If the drifting position is logged outside of the Nofence boundary, the collar may emit audio warnings and electric pulses.
This is why shelter beacons (minimum two in small shelters) are needed. For larger barns, you should seek advice from Nofence sales personnel. When the collar picks up the signal from a shelter beacon, the operating mode is disabled. Whenever the animal moves out of the shelter beacon’s range, the operating mode comes back on.
Can I use Nofence on other types of animals?
We get questions from farmers and other professionals all over the world asking if Nofence can be used for camels, elephants, kangaroos, horses, pigs, deer, etc. At the moment, the Nofence system is tested and developed for these grazing animals only – cattle, sheep and goats. However, we notice the keen interest and keep an open mind.
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