Why Should I use a NAG Bag?
NAG Bag's offer a healthy, alternative method of feeding your animal, in a way that is “Much like” a natural grazing method, which is the correct way all grazing animals should be foraging. The NAG Bag will offer your animal improved digestion, fewer chances of cribbing, ulcers, colic and many other emotional issues, by extending the grazing times. Smaller amounts are consumed over a longer period, making for superior digestion, and health.
What size of net do I use?
The size depends on the animal you are feeding, lifestyle, working or idle, growing or aging as well as the hay type. We can help you if you are not sure, we love to help.
1 inch: Ponies, Miniature animals, small Rabbit breeds will all do very well with the 1-inch netting. But will need an introduction with loose hay feedings for a few days till you see them happy with the net, and not so interested in the loose hay.
1.5 inch: This is our most common size for Equines, Donkeys, Mules, Alpacas, Goats, Sheep, llamas, Rabbits, and Chickens!
2 inch: For the larger breeds, and working horses, the growing youngster’s, older horses, and roping cattle, and calves.
3 inch: Great for Cattle and Horses - especially in the colder climates with freezing weather.
When introducing slow hay feeding always provide loose hay as well as the NAG Bag for the first week. Your animals will learn to graze from the net properly. This will also ensure a prolonged life on your NAG Bags. Remember slow feeding is only as good as the hay meeting the animal's requirements and needs ... make sure it’s the correct hay type and not too high in sugars, starches, or WSC. for the non-working idle horse. We strongly advise getting your hay tested to know what you are feeding your horses! See the hay testing info page.
My horse is wearing shoes, can I still use NAG Bags?
Most certainly you can use them with shod horses - there are some guidelines for making sure that your horse’s shoe does not contact the net at any time. NAG Bags can be placed in a tub, feeder, hay ring, or hung out of pawing range. We like to see horses eating with their head in a downward position as this helps with saliva flow and inhalants. See our DIY page for some great tips on making a feeder that will work for you.
Can the NAG Bags be left loose?
Yes - All NAG Bags can be left loose for extra movement and entertainment. Must have appropriate fencing and non-sandy surfaces are best.
IMPORTANT: Horses must not be shod if using loose bags.
When the net is empty should I refill it, even if he's eaten all his hay for the day?
Yes, it is best to keep the nets full; keep in mind you may go through a bit more hay at the beginning IMPORTANT (if your wanting to start free feeding- DO NOT start with full bales - as your horses digestive system is not accustomed to this large amount of fiber intake - introduce with a few more flakes every other day, until a full bale can go out)
When the horse self-regulates his feeding (grazing), his habits change physically, emotionally and consumption slows down. The hay must suit your horse's needs, this is very important if your wanting to feed hay 24 hours a day - this type of hay is not rich, high protein hays, you may need to find a second hay type that can be used for 24 hr feedings and give your other (richer) hays as usual or mixed in. See the Hay Testing Info page for more information.
My horse won't leave the NAG Bag...and is gaining weight
Maybe you have the wrong hay (see above insert) if the correct hay is being used ..keep going along with it - they will slow down. For some, it can take days and sometimes a month! These horses are usually the ones who have never had free choice feeding before.
1: If you do not have the correct hay for full-time free choice feeding, you may use the slow feeder to at least extend the hours, of what you do feed.
2: If you have the correct hay for your horse, they will slow down and regulate themselves, it does take time.
Can I soak hay in the NAG Bags?
Yes, you can use the bags to soak your hay in. We do suggest a maximum of a 30 min soak & to let the water drip/drain out before if you are feeding in the trailer or a surface that could get slippery. Also great for hay dunkers!
The warmer the water and the longer you soak it, the more sugars & starches you remove. Sugar Levels decline significantly when hay is soaked in warm water for 30 minutes or cold water for 60 minutes. Don’t over soak (1-hour max) soaking can cause mineral loss & reduces the amount of dry matter, leaving less digestible fiber. See more on Hay Testing Info.
Can NAG Bags be used with horses that have poor teeth?
Before you start feeding with slow feeders please check your animal's teeth alignment on the front incisors, as some miniatures do have poor teeth alignment & older horses can have some teeth missing. If your horse has a missing tooth that is fine, if there are no gaps between the remaining teeth, or if there is one tooth in the middle and missing on both sides, or one tooth laying over top of another you should seek Veterinarian or Dental Assistance first.
Can my horse chew through the NAG Bag?
Our net is the safest and most durable on the market. When introduced correctly with loose hay feedings along with the NAG Bag we see minimum to no damage, but it is possible. If this happens, a simple repair can be made (the value of the NAG Bag far exceeds a small repair or two). Learn more on the Net Care page and see the Repair videos.
My NAG Bag has a hole, what do I do?
All nets come with a piece of matching twine - just as a good sweater comes with an extra button. Make sure you sew up the hole as soon as any damage is found, animals will only make it larger. If you have a hole that has been left and is now very large and cannot be pulled together without making the bag too small, you will need a repair kit. Repair kits include various patches of netting and a roll of Evergrip twine. Learn more on the Net Care page and see the Repair video.
Will my horse be frustrated with the NAG Bag?
Horses with the correct net hole size and hay type will prefer to graze from a NAG Bag rather than loose hay feedings, as they do prefer this trickle feeding method, after the proper introduction. They just know what’s good for them! Choosing the correct size of net for the hay type is very important. As fine grass hays can be difficult to remove from the nets as it balls up - and hays with more stems can be removed with more ease as it pulls through the netting. Need help deciding, give us a call!
What type of hay do I use?
We are all about a natural diet, so we like to see horses use a grass mix hay type, headed out with no dust or mold (see more on hay info). Easy keepers are best on a 1st cut, lower sugar, and starch hays. Hard keepers and elderly horses may need hay types that are higher in proteins and more suitable to their needs.
A very fine hay has its issues of balling and/or impactions, as hays with more stems help the digestive tract with helping hindgut secretions flow, slows down consumption rates and adds more chewing - all good things.
First, pick the hay that suits your horse then the net size. If you are not sure, give us a call - we can help.
Can I use the NAG Bags feeding system with my metabolic horse?
Yes, this is one of the best feeding systems to use as this help keep your horse's insulin levels balanced, as forage is available 24/7 reducing stress - But you must have a hay that is correct for these sensitive horses and that means having your hay tested is essential! Hay testing is easy to do with minimum cost - see Hay Info page.
My horse has been diagnosed with ulcers, how can NAG Bags help?
NAG Bags will benefit all equines, especially for the care of ulcers, colic, cribbing, aggressive and nervous horses. Small frequent meals are your best defense on healing ulcers. NAG Bags are vet recommended
NAG Bags are going to keep them happier, content and healthier for their healing time, as we know small frequent meals eliminates the risks of colic and ulcers.
Can I use a round bale bag without a feeder?
Yes, you can use the round bale bag by itself if your horse is not shod. *Note... Bags will stay cleaner and have better longevity with use of a feeder.
How is the round bale eaten down?
The round bale simply shrinks/collapses down with the hay, into the shape of a large pillow. Before completely empty, shake out and replace with a fresh round bale.
Will the round bale freeze to the ground?
In winter you can either use straw/shavings and/or tarps under the bales, but if you make sure they are never become completely empty before refilling this helps to insulate the nets from the ground.
Do I have to re-tighten the round bale bag?
No, you only tie the net up once, but you should inspect your round bale bag frequently. Especially the first few days, as you will need to feed some loose hay with the new net morning and evening. If the net does not close on the first fitting - keep clean, remove and size up! as too tight of bags can be damaged, they need to fit loosely.
They can be attached to any type of fencing. You can either use zip ties, straps, twine or cords to attach. Many customers use them for stall windows, feeding aisles, camping and attaching them even to trees on high lines.
Rings and Clips: Where do they attach?
The placement of a ring or clip can be on the top of the bag attached to the black rope. You could also place a ring or clip onto the bottom of the bag into the quick link, undo the clamp on the bottom to insert the ring or clip. See the video or see the DIY page for more ideas.
Why are my nets becoming stiff?
Sometimes nets become stiff with use. Based on our research, this may occur because of a few factors:
Heavily soiled nets: as the fibers become damaged with dirt and grime. Wash as above to clean and soften.
When used in a hot dry climate with nets in full sun and horses with high saliva rate, we usually look at the hay and whether it has been fertilized or a conditioner used and if its very high in sugars, as this makes for a PH change in the horse’s saliva and interacts with the netting as chloride does. More research into the hay (hay testing) is recommended. It is best to check hay source, wash your net and then use the net in a covered or shaded area if possible.
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