FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why Should I Use a NAG Bag?
The NAG Bag mimics natural foraging as nature intended for all grazing animals to graze throughout the day. It is allowing animals to consume a smaller quantity of forage over a more extended period. It benefits animals by improving digestion, reducing colic, ulcers, cribbing, other emotional issues and overall well-being.
Will my horse be frustrated with the NAG Bag?
When NAG Bags are property introduced, our customers find that their horses prefer to forage from the NAG Bag rather than loose hay. Trickle feeding is natural for them, and they know it. Choose the correct net hole size for your animal to match their needs and hay type. Please view our Net Guide for more information. Still not sure; please call.
What size of nets do I use?
The size of the net hole you choose depends on the type of animal you are feeding, its developmental stage, lifestyle, and what hay type you are providing. See our Net Guide for more information and our Hay Testing page.
The general guide below:
1 inch: Ponies, miniature animals, and young mini goats and lambs will all do very well with 1-inch netting.
1.5 inch: This is our most popular size for equines, donkeys, mules, alpacas, goats, sheep, llamas, rabbits, and yes, even chickens!
2 inch: For larger breeds like drafts, warmbloods, working horses, young and older horses, and calves.
2.75 inch: For cattle and horses, when consumption is not an issue, just wanting to keep the hay in the feeder. The 2.75 is a great net, especially in colder climates. It can be used for older horses, growing, working & racehorses, and works great for cattle. This net needs to be used in a feeder as its larger holes could be a hazard.
When introducing slow hay feeding, always provide loose hay along with the NAG Bag for the first week. Loose hay feedings assist your animal in learning how to "graze" from the nets properly, minimizes the chance of net damage, and prolong the life of your NAG Bag. Remember, slow-feeding is only as good as the hay that’s being offered. Meeting the animal's needs is very important, and ensuring that you have the correct hay type will help 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, the nets should be placed in a tub, feeder, hay ring, or hung out of the pawing range. We do like to see the net in a lower position if possible for a more natural foraging position.
Can the NAG Bag 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, nets should be placed in a box or feeder. Also, note the large hole sizes, 2" or 2.75”, should not be left loose for minis or young horses as a precaution with smaller hoofed animals.
My horse won't leave the NAG Bag...and is gaining weight.
IMPORTANT: Horses who have never been fed free-choice forage before can tend to over-consume. We highly recommend starting with smaller amounts and slowly keep adding to the nets.
If you want to provide a full bale feeding, you should start with only adding 1/3 of the bale at first and slowly adding more till the whole bale has been achieved. This may take a while, but it helps limit over-indulging. Please use caution when adjusting to free-choice feeding as over-indulging turn can be dangerous and serious.
Slowly they will adjust as they self-regulate; for some horses, it can take days and sometimes up to a month. 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.
When the net is empty, should I refill it? Even if he's consumed all their hay for the day?
Yes! It is most beneficial to keep the nets full; it’s ideal to never go over two hours out of forage. Keep in mind; you may go through a bit more hay at the beginning till horses self-regulate. Once a horse has self-regulated, their feeding (grazing) habits change, and consumption slows down.
NOTE: Ensure the hay being fed suits your horse's needs, as this is a significant factor in receiving the best results. If you like to provide 24 hours grazing, we highly recommended finding a hay source that is low in protein, sugar and starch. See the Hay Testing page for more information and advice.
Can my horse chew through the NAG Bag?
NAG Bag nets are 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 news is that they are straightforward to repair. See the Net Care page to learn about repairing nets.
Can I soak hay in the NAG Bags?
Yes, you can soak hay in a NAG Bag net. We suggest that you soak hay for a maximum of 30 minutes to avoid spores and mold. We recommended that you let the excess water drain out before hanging the nets above a surface that could become slippery (such as in a trailer).
NOTE: Soaking hay in warm water results in removing higher amounts of sugars and starches. When hay is soaked in warm water or cold for 30 minutes, levels decline significantly. Hay must not be over-soaked (45 minutes max), as this can cause excessive mineral loss and bacteria growth in the hay. Soaked hay should be consumed within 6 hours, and any remaining hay should be removed from the net. See more on Hay Testing Info.
What type of hay do I use?
All hay types can be fed in the NAG Bag, but the key is to fit the right hole size to the hay. In addition, hay should always match the animals’ requirements to provide the best benefits and results. We do not recommend using any hay that contains weeds, mold or dust. Easy keepers do best on 1st cut, lower sugar and starch hays. Hard keepers and elderly horses may require higher protein hay types. We recommended hay testing and research on finding the correct hay for your animals’ needs.
With very fine hay type, it can cause issues like balling and impactions. Hay nets can help with this type of hay, but we do not suggest the 1 inch hole size due to the fine grass hays strands. Hay with more stem aids digestion by helping hind-gut secretions flow, increasing the amount of chewing required, and slowing down consumption rate - all good things. Please view our Net Guide for more information on finding the correct net hold size.
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 metabolic horses by keeping your horse's insulin levels more balanced. Offering forage 24/7 helps reduce stress, in addition to aiding many physical and mental benefits. 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. 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 defence against the formation of ulcers and promote ulcers' healing. Veterinary recommended NAG Bags support healthy digestion.
Can NAG Bags be used with horses that have poor teeth?
Before you start feeding with any hay nets, please check the alignment of your grazing animal's teeth. Some miniatures tend to have poor alignment, as well is not uncommon for older horses to be missing teeth. If your horse has a missing tooth it’s fine to use a hay net. But if you have an area where there is a gap that the net could hook behind, then we recommend that you seek a veterinarian's dental assistant before use. Nets do help horses with missing teeth, as it slows down the choke percentage as less hay is gathered in the mouth at one time, just need special attention/caution.
My NAG Bag has a hole; what do I do?
All nets come with a repair twine, just as a good sweater comes with an extra button. Checking your net for damage regularly and addressing any damages will prolong life. Ensure you sew small holes up right away so that your animal doesn't make it any larger.
Can I use a Round/ Large Square Bale net without a feeder?
Yes, you can use the round bale or LG. Square bale bag by loose, if your horse is not shod.
Note: NAG Bag nets will stay cleaner and have better longevity when placed into a feeder.
Do I have to re-tighten the Round/ Large Square Bale net?
No. Once you have tied the Round Bale net up, you do not have to re-tighten, but be sure to inspect it frequently. When you first introduce a new NAG Bag net, you must ensure that loose hay is fed alongside the net in the morning and evening.
See our Getting Started page for more details.
How is the Round/ Large Square Bale net eaten down?
The Round Bale Bag simply shrinks/collapses down with the hay into the shape of a large pillow. Before the net is entirely empty (10% bale left), shake it out and reload a new round bale.
Leaving nets empty can cause horses to chew netting.
Will the Round/ Large Square Bale freeze to the ground?
You can use straw or shavings or tarps underneath your bales in winter to prevent freezing. But the best way to ensure the net never completely empties before refilling, as the hay will help insulate the net and stop them from freezing to the ground.
Please note: If the net does not close on the first fitting, this means that you do not have the correct size for your bale. Promptly remove the bag to keep it clean and contact us for exchange instructions. If the net is too tight, it can become damaged.
Can I attach my net to a fence?
NAG Bags can be attached to a post, rails, stall walls, shelters and pipe fencing either by tying, or a clip onto the net and easily hooking up. We also have nets made for easy throw-through feedings. Check out Ez Fills or Metal Flip-up feeders. Many customers use the Ez Fills and Metal Flip-ups for rail fencing and stall windows.
Rings and Clips: Where do they attach?
Why are my nets becoming stiff?
The main reasons behind the stiff nets come from the hot sun and the saliva. We recommend always trying to hang the nets out of the sun if possible. Heavily soiled, dirt and grime can also damage the fibres and cause stiffening. Washing can help loosen up the fibres and
Nets should be washed with non-chlorinated water or soap. We always recommend that nets only be washed in non-chlorinated water. Use vinegar and baking soda for washing. See our Net Care section for washing instructions.
Some Hays are fertilized, conditioned, or have 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 it would if the net were exposed to chlorinated water.