At Smith Meadows, where pastures are intensely managed, animals move from one piece of grass to the next on a tight schedule. In the winter, the chore of moving animals is often done at the end of the day. Here farm manager and former apprentice Aaron Johnson moves a handful of last fall's lambs into a new pasture on a chilly afternoon in February.
The electrified netting is the same netting we use for our free-range chickens. The ability to move it wherever and whenever we want offers us a huge advantage. It's a quiet little video because we had to be very still and calm as they moved through this narrow passage to the next field. Aside from the occasional crunching leaves under my feet (oops!), you can hear the metronome 'tick-tock' noise of the fence charger sending out electric pulses.
It can be tricky business moving animals across open terrain and other obstacles, so a year or two of experience is critical for effective handling. Watch how the lambs briefly try to break in the opposite direction, but how easily they are turned when the shepherd is in the right spot. The sheep and Aaron were in unison on this day.