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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #167856


item Anderson, Dean
item Nayak, Purushotham
item Nolen, Barbara
item Frederickson, Eddie
item Estell, Richard - Rick
item Hale, Craig
item Havstad, Kris

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/5/2005
Publication Date: 2/5/2005
Citation: Anderson, D.M., Nayak, P., Nolen, B., Fredrickson, E.L., Estell, R.E., Hale, C.S., Havstad, K.M. 2005. Directional virtual fencing (dvf-tm) and flerds [abstract]. 58th Annual Society for Range Management Meeting, February 5-11, 2005, Forth Worth, Texas.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Controlling free-ranging animals is among the most challenging jobs a producer faces when managing livestock. Combining a practical understanding of animal behavior with emerging technologies provides opportunities to autonomously control the temporal and spatial location of cattle and sheep on arid rangelands without conventional fencing. Flerd refers to a mixed species group of sheep (flock) and cattle (herd) in which sheep consistently remain within line-of-sight of cattle even when given the opportunity to remain only with peers. This atypical sheep behavior results from modifying sheep behavior, preferably at an early age, through a process called bonding. Using Directional Virtual Fencing (DVF-TM), which delivers audio sound and/or electric shock cues to either the right or left side of a cow's head, it was possible to contain cattle behind an activated Virtual Boundary (VB-TM) that defines the perimeter of a Virtual Paddock (VP-TM) using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. Peer relationships among and between individual sheep affected flerd cohesiveness when combining bonded sheep with cows equipped with DVF-TM devices. Preliminary results indicate three cows wearing DVF-TM devices influenced the spatial location of 13 ewes and 1 wether.