Vetch - safe or not

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by aschrimp, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. aschrimp

    aschrimp In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    We have a ton of vetch growing, and I'm finding mixed information, some threads saying it's toxic and not to feed it, and some people listing it in forage mixes they plant specifically for their chickens. Is it safe?
  2. NashobaLosa

    NashobaLosa In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2012
    I think there are several species of vetch, and that might have something to do with the confusion. I do know that some types can poision a horse if eaten in large amounts. As for chickens... I don't know. I would find out what kind exactly you have... and try it in small portions if you do.
  3. aschrimp

    aschrimp In the Brooder

    Feb 24, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    We have hairy vetch.
  4. omegorchards

    omegorchards Chirping

    My birds eat common and hairy vetch often and they are fine. They have done so for years.
  5. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    is the weed henbit also ok for chickens. here in Tx we have had a bumper crop of henbit. my little guys are only 4 wks so they're not roaming on their own yet.
  6. nova022

    nova022 Songster

    Aug 3, 2012
    [​IMG] Is this vetch?
  7. poltroon

    poltroon Songster

    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    No, vetch has more and smaller leaves, closer together.
  8. SassysMom

    SassysMom Chirping

    May 26, 2013
    western WA state
    I have "common vetch." Before I could get to the chickens' salad bar, this grass-like plant grew over night. I hope it isn't vetch (I planted a mix). I think it's either rye or wheat grass. I've read the conflicting views on vetch for chickens myself.
  9. Everything and anything is poisonous if eaten in large enough amounts. A few years ago a California woman died after a water drinking stunt put on by a local radio station. She drank so much water that her salt levels fell to a fatal level and she died from heart failure because her electrolyte levels were not high enough to transmit the electric signals from her brain to make her heart beat.. Oh well! A horse and its tendency to eat till it can't anymore or becomes foundered is another good example. I say that a vetch snack a couple of times a day or even once an hour or so is good for your birds as well as for mine.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013

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