Why Should I Use a NAG Bag?

NAG Bags mimic natural grazing as nature intends, by allowing animals to consume a smaller quantity of hay for expanded periods.

The method is used for extending your regular hay feedings. Benefits animals by improving digestion and reducing colic, ulcers, cribbing, and other emotional issues.

Will my horse be frustrated with the NAG Bag?

When NAG Bags are property introduced, our customers find that their horses will prefer to graze from the NAG Bag rather than loose hay. Trickle feeding is natural for them, and they know it! It is vital to choose the correct net hole size and use the right hay type. Please view our Slow Hay Feeding Guide for more information.

What size of nets do I use?

The size of nets you choose depends on the type of animal you are feeding, its developmental stage, lifestyle, as well as the kind of hay you are providing. See our 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 popular size for equines, donkeys, mules, alpacas, goats, sheep, llamas, rabbits, and chickens!

2 inch: For larger breeds like drafts, warmbloods, working horses, young and older horses, and calves.

3 inch: For cattle and horses, especially in colder climates.

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 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 bags should be placed in a tub, feeder, hay ring, or hung up out of the 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, nets should be placed in a box or feeder. Also, note that NAG Bags with 2" or 3" hole sizes can not be left out for minis or young horses.

My horse won't leave the NAG Bag...and is gaining weight.

Horses who have never had free-choice feeders before can tend to overconsume. Slowly they will adjust 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.

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 fibre intake. Instead, introduce a few more flakes every other day, until a full bale can go out.

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. Keep in mind you may go through a bit more hay at the beginning; horses will self-regulate. Once a horse has self-regulated, their feeding (grazing) habits change, and consumption slows down.

Note: that the hay being fed suits your horse's needs. If you want to provide 24 hours grazing, you have to find a hay source that is low in protein, sugar and starch. 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 fibre intake. Instead, introduce a few more flakes every other day, until a full bale can go out.

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, NAG Bags can be soaked. We suggest that you soak hay for a maximum of 30 minutes to avoid creating a hazard. It is 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: that 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 mustn't be over-soaked (45 minutes max), as this can cause excessive mineral loss and bacteria growth.

Soaked hay should be consumed within 6 hours, and any remaining hay should be removed from the bag. See more on Hay Testing Info.

What type of hay do I use?

Grass mix hay free from both dust and mould 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 impactions. Hay with more stem aids digestion by helping hindgut secretions flow, increasing the amount of chewing required, and slowing down consumption rate - all good things. Please view our Net 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 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. 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 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 is lying over the top of another, we recommend that you seek a veterinarian's advice dental assistant before use.

My NAG Bag has a hole, what do I do?

All nets come with a repair twine piece just as a good sweater comes with an extra button. Checking your net for damage regularly and addressing any damages will prolong the life. Ensure you sew small holes up right away, so that your animal doesn't make it any larger.

If you have a large hole, repair kits containing various patch sizes can be purchased. See our Net Care page to learn more about repairing nets.

Can I use a Round/ Large Square Bale net without a feeder?

Yes, you can use the round bale bag by itself if your horse is not shod. Note: NAG Bag nets will stay cleaner and have better longevity when placed in 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 it 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 insert a fresh round bale.

Will the Round/ Large Square Bale freeze to the ground?

You can use straw/shavings and/or tarps underneath your bales in winter to prevent freezing in winter. Ensure the net never completely empties before refilling because 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 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. Note: You always use additional hardware when attaching.

Rings and Clips: Where do they attach?

Rings and clips can be attached either to the black rope at the top of the bag or to the bottom's quick link. See our video on attaching hardware.

Why are my nets becoming stiff?

The reasons behind the stiff nets:

- Nets washed in chlorinated water. We always recommend that nets only to be washed in non-chlorinated water.
Heavily soiled, dirt and grime can damage the fibres and cause stiffening.

- 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 it would if the net were exposed to chlorinated water. See our Hay Testing section for details.

- Nets are used in a hot, dry climate, or put out in harsh sunlight. We recommend that nets be covered or shaded areas.

See our Net Care section for washing instructions.