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Virtual Fences Keep Livestock from Wandering

Cole Mushrush does two things when he wakes up each morning at the family ranch: make up a pot of coffee, then fire up his laptop to see if any cows have wandered astray. Not many do, because electronic collars have been hung around their necks that give them a jolt if they try to cross one of the invisible fence boundaries created on a computer. The digital fence follows the contours of a pasture, and the collars are designed to keep the cows hemmed in without having to go to the expense of building a real fence.

He said, “The collars have mostly deterred cows from wandering past the no-go zone—although the animals don’t always behave as desired after a shock that comes following warning beeps. Some of them close their eyes and run. We don’t need that.”

The cows undergo a four-day training regimen which included a beep followed by shock, and playing around with the boundaries. There were a few rule breakers, such as when a cow might see her friend on the other side of an invisible fence. Mushrush said, “There are social cliques within a herd. Sometimes a cow will walk through the shock to be with their friend.”

If you are wondering what the shock feels like, it is reported to hurt less than a bee sting.

Possible Preaching Angle:

We know we have freedom in Christ but sometimes we need to be reminded or warned that we are crossing a line which God has placed there for our good.

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