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In March this year Agersens® carried out a break feeding trial in a six hectare paddock with CSIRO. Break feeding is a system of controlling the feeding of grazing animals by successively allocating pasture or forage crop using a moveable fence.

Six Angus cattle fitted with Agersens® eShepherd™ prototype were first allowed to graze freely over the whole paddock and preferred to spend time in the shelter of a row of trees at one end of the paddock.
A virtual fence was applied to keep the cattle within 40% of the paddock area away from the trees. During the two day training period cattle were crossing the fence but being shepherded back into the grazing zone.
After a few days the cattle were allocated to new pasture by moving the virtual fence 70 metres down the paddock. Cattle moved into the new area within a short time and started grazing on the new pasture.

 

 

After three days the virtual fence was moved a further 70 metres and the cattle again responded by rapidly moving into the new pasture allocation.
Finally, the virtual fence was rotated lengthwise down the paddock and restricted grazing to a single side.

The trial clearly demonstrates cattle are quick to learn that a virtual fence can be moved, and rapidly adjust to the new position and orientation.

This month Agersens® will start a similar trial on rangeland cattle in Queensland using the latest collar prototype before scaling up manufacture later this year.