Why Should I Use a NAG Bag?
NAG Bags mimic natural grazing by allowing animals to consume smaller amounts of hay over a longer period of time. This benefits animals with improved digestion and a reduction in the occurrence of colic, ulcers, cribbing, and other emotional issues.
What size of net do I use?
The size of net you choose depends on the type of animal you are feeding, its developmental stage, lifestyle, as well as the type of hay you are feeding. See our Slow Feeding Net Guide for more information.
1 inch: Ponies, miniature animals, and small rabbit breeds will all do very well with 1-inch netting.
1.5 inch: This is our most common size for equines, donkeys, mules, alpacas, goats, sheep, llamas, rabbits, and chickens!
2 inch: For larger breeds like drafts, warm bloods, working horses, young and older horses, and calves.
3 inch: Great for cattle and horses - especially in the colder climates.
When introducing slow hay feeding always provide loose hay along with the NAG Bag for the first week. This assists your animal in learning how to "graze" from the nets properly, minimizes the chance of net damage, and prolongs the life of your NAG Bag. Remember - slow feeding is only as good as the hay being fed. Meeting the animal's needs is very important, and making sure that you have the correct hay type will help to ensure successful net feeding. Visit our hay testing and articles pages to learn more.
My horse is wearing shoes, can I still use NAG Bags?
NAG Bags can be used with shod horses, however, they bags should be placed in a tub, feeder, hay ring, or hung up out of pawing range.
Can the NAG Bags be left loose?
Yes. NAG Bags can be left loose on non-sandy surfaces for extra movement and entertainment.
IMPORTANT: For safety reasons, do not leave bags loose if horses are shod. If a horse is shod, their net must be placed in a box or feeder. Also note that bags with 2” or 3” net hole sizes can not be left out for minis or young horses.
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 but a horse will self-regulate. Once a horse has self-regulated, his feeding (grazing) habits change and consumption slows down.
It is important that the hay being fed suits your horse's needs. If you want to feed 24 hours per day you may have to find a source of hay that is not too rich or high in protein. See the Hay Testing page for more information.
IMPORTANT When you start free feeding DO NOT start with full bales because your horse's digestive system will not be accustomed to a large amount of fiber intake. Instead, introduce a few more flakes every other day, until a full bale can go out.
My horse won't leave the NAG Bag...and is gaining weight
Horses that do this are usually the ones who have never had free-choice feeders before. Keep going with it - they will slow down as they self-regulate. For some horses it can take days and sometimes up to a month! Another possibility is that you may be using the incorrect hay type. If you have the correct hay for your horse, they will eventually slow down and regulate themselves. Be patient - it does take time. See our Hay Testing section for more details.
Can I soak hay in the NAG Bags?
Yes, bags can be used to soak hay. We suggest that you soak hay for a maximum of 30 minutes. To avoid creating a hazard, it is recommended that you let the water drip/drain out before hanging the bags above a surface that could become slippery (such as in a trailer).
Note that soaking hay in warm water results in the removal of higher amounts of sugars and starches. Levels decline significantly when hay is soaked in warm water for 30 minutes or cold water for 60 minutes. It is important that hay is not over-soaked (one hour max) as this can cause mineral loss and reduces the amount digestible fiber. Soaked hay should be consumed within 6 hours and any remaining hay should be removed from the bag. 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 the alignment of your animal’s teeth.
Some miniatures have poor alignment, and it is not uncommon for older horses to be missing teeth. If your horse has a missing tooth that is fine, but if it has all of its middle teeth and none on the sides, or if one tooth laying over top of another, we recommend that you seek the advice of a veterinarian or dental assistant before use.
Can my horse chew through the NAG Bag?
Our net is the safest, most durable on the market. When introduced correctly and alongside loose hay feedings, the chance of damage to a NAG Bag is minimal. There is always the possibility that a net can become damaged, but the good new is that they are very easy to repair. See the Net Care page to learn about repairing nets and to view 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. Checking your net for damage on a regular basis and addressing any damages early will prolong the life of your net. Make sure you sew small holes up right away so that your animal doesn't make it any larger. If a hole has enlarged, repair kits containing various patch sizes can be purchased. See the Net Care page to learn about repairing nets and to view the repair video.
Will my horse be frustrated with the NAG Bag?
After nets are properly introduced, our customers find that their horses will prefer to graze from the NAG Bag rather than from loose hay feedings. Trickle feeding is good for them, and they know it! It is important to ensure that you choose the correct net hole size and use the correct hay type. Please view our Slow Hay Feeding Guide for more information.
What type of hay do I use?
Grass mix hay free from both dust and mold is ideal. Easy keepers do best on 1st cut, lower sugar and starch hays. Hard keepers and elderly horses may require higher protein hay types.
Coarse, long hay is harder for horses to remove from a hay net than fine hay is. If hay is too fine, it can cause issues like balling and/or impactions. Hay with more stem aids digestion by helping hindgut secretions flow, increasing the amount of chewing required, and slowing down the rate of consumption - all good things. Please view our Slow Hay Feeding Guide for more information.
Can I use the NAG Bags feeding system with my metabolic horse?
Yes, the NAG Bag is one of the best feeding systems for helping to keep your horse's insulin levels balanced. When forage is available 24/7 it also reduces stress. Be sure that you are providing your horse with the correct hay type. See our Hay Testing section for more details.
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 but frequent meals are your best defense against the formation of ulcers and also promote the healing of ulcers. Veterinary recommended NAG Bags support healthy digestion.
When a horse is healing, NAG Bags help to keep them happy and content. Small, frequent meals provided from a NAG Bag reduces healing time as well as the occurrence 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 when placed in a feeder.
How is the round bale eaten down?
The round bale bag simply shrinks/collapses down with the hay, into the shape of a large pillow. Before the bag is completely empty, shake it out and insert a fresh round bale.
Will the round bale freeze to the ground?
In winter you can use straw/shavings and/or tarps underneath your bales to help prevent freezing. Make sure the bale bag never completely empties before refilling because the hay will help to insulate the nets and stop them from freezing to the ground.
Do I have to re-tighten the round bale bag?
No. Once you have tied the bag up you do not have to re-tighten it but be sure to inspect it frequently. This is especially true when you first introduce a new NAG Bag as you must ensure that loose hay is fed alongside the bag in both the morning and the evening. See our Getting Started page for more details.
Please note: If the net does not close all the way on the first fitting, this means that you do not have the correct size bale bag. Promptly remove the bag to keep it clean and Contact Us for return instructions on exchanging the bag for the proper size. If the bag is too tight it can become damaged.
Can I attach my bag to a fence?
NAG Bags 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 or high lines.
Rings and Clips: Where do they attach?
Why are my nets becoming stiff?
Nets can become stiff:
-If they have been washed in chlorinated water. We recommend that nets are only washed in non-chlorinated water. See our Net Care section for washing instructions.
-If they are heavily soiled. Dirt and grime can damage the fibers and cause stiffening. See our Net Care section for washing instructions.
-As a result of the type of hay being used. If hay was fertilized, conditioned, or has a high sugar content, the Ph level of a horse's saliva can change. These changes can cause the net to stiffen in the same way that it would if the net were exposed to chlorinated water. See our Hay Testing section for details.
-If the nets are used in a hot, dry climate, or put out in harsh sunlight. We recommend that nets are always placed in covered or shaded areas.