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BRIEF: Is Crown Vetch safe to feed to horses?


QUESTION:
Could you please tell me about Crown Vetch why is it listed as poisonous to horses, people here are using it as horse hay, is this safe?? Please help me as we are being offered this hay at a reasonable price, but we don't want to poison our horses.

ANSWER:

There is a nitroglycoside in crown vetch that is detoxified by the rumen of cows, sheep and goats, but can cause problems for nonruminants such as horses. When horses get too much of this plant, one can observe slowed growth, paralysis or even death in some cases. If they are just nibbling a little mixed in with lots and lots of other feed, you may never notice a problem.