Hairy Vetch (Common name)

General poisoning notes:

Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) was introduced as a forage in Canada and has become successfully naturalized in parts of southern Canada. This plant causes poisoning in cattle, horses, and poultry. Various syndromes occur in cattle, including a dermatitis that resembles photosensitization in may respects, except that the skin lesions appear on pigmented skin as well. Mortality occurs in cattle and poultry (Panciera 1978, Kerr and Edwards 1982, Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Anderson, C. A., Divers, T. J. 1983. Systemic granulation inflammation in a horse grazing hairy vetch. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 183: 569-570.
  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.
  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Kerr, L. A., Edwards, W. C. 1982. Hairy vetch poisoning of cattle. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 77: 257-258.
  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.
  • Panciera, R. J. 1978. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) poisoning in cattle. Pages 555-563 in Keeler, R. F., Van Kampen, K. R., James, L. F., eds. Effects of poisonous plants on livestock. Academic Press, New York, N.Y., USA. 600 pp.

Nomenclature:

Scientific Name:
Vicia villosa Roth
Vernacular name(s):
hairy vetch
Scientific family name:
Leguminosae
Vernacular family name:
pea

Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Vicia villosa

References:

  • Agriculture Quebec. 1975. Noms des maladies des plantes du Canada/ Names of plant diseases in Canada. Quebec City, Que., Canada. 288 pp.
  • Alex, J. F., Cayouette, R., Mulligan, G. A. 1980. Common and botanical names of weeds in Canada/Noms populaire et scientifiques des plantes nuisibles du Canada. Revised. Agric. Can. Publ., Ottawa, Ont., Canada. 132 pp.
  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Scoggan, H. J. 1978, 1979. The flora of Canada. Nat. Mus. Nat. Sci. (Ottawa) Publ. Bot. 7(1)-7(4). 1711 pp.
  • Van Wijk, H. L. 1911. A dictionary of plant names. Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, The Netherlands. 1444 pp.
  • Victorin, M. 1964. Flore Laurentienne. 2nd ed. Univ. Montreal, Montreal, Que., Canada. 952 pp.

Geographic Information

  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec

References:

  • Bailey, L. H., Bailey, E. Z. 1976. Hortus third. Revised. MacMillan, New York, N.Y., USA. 1290 pp.
  • Boivin, B. 1966, 1967. Énumération des plantes du Canada. Provencheria 6. Nat. Can. (Que.) 93: 253-274; 371-437; 583-646; 989-1063. 94: 131-157; 471-528; 625-655.

Image or illustration

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Notes on Poisonous plant parts:

This plant has occasionally caused poisoning when used as a forage for livestock (Cheeke and Schull 1985).

Toxic parts:

  • leaves
  • seeds

References:

  • Kerr, L. A., Edwards, W. C. 1982. Hairy vetch poisoning of cattle. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 77: 257-258.

Toxic plant chemicals:

  • unknown chemical

References:

  • Kerr, L. A., Edwards, W. C. 1982. Hairy vetch poisoning of cattle. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 77: 257-258.

Animals/Human Poisoning:

Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation.

Cattle

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Two types of syndromes are suggested from the symptoms seen in cattle. The first syndrome is acute illness followed by death after ingesting raw seeds of hairy vetch. The animals were very restless, showed pain, experienced convulsions, and died. The second syndrome involves skin lesions, cough, respiration problems, and death after 2 weeks. Postmortem findings showed severe bronchitis with pneumonia, yellow- brown liver, and inflamed forestomachs (Panciera 1978, Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.
  • Kerr, L. A., Edwards, W. C. 1982. Hairy vetch poisoning of cattle. Vet. Med. Small Anim. Clin., 77: 257-258.
  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., USA. 626 pp.
  • Panciera, R. J. 1978. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) poisoning in cattle. Pages 555-563 in Keeler, R. F., Van Kampen, K. R., James, L. F., eds. Effects of poisonous plants on livestock. Academic Press, New York, N.Y., USA. 600 pp.

Horses

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Hairy vetch causes systemic granulomatous inflammation. Edema occurs especially around the lips and eyes. Conjunctivitis and corneal ulceration develops. The poisoning is most prevalant in mid to late spring as the hairy vetch reaches maturity (Anderson and Divers 1983).

References:

  • Anderson, C. A., Divers, T. J. 1983. Systemic granulation inflammation in a horse grazing hairy vetch. J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc., 183: 569-570.
  • Cheeke, P. R., Shull, L. R. 1985. Natural toxicants in feeds and poisonous plants. AVI Publishing Company, Inc., Westport, Conn., USA. 492 pp.

Poultry

General symptoms of poisoning:

Notes on poisoning:

Feeding chicks experimentally on a diet of 30-80% hairy vetch seeds caused 20-40% mortality. Symptoms included weight loss, excitability, and sometimes violent convulsions (Cooper and Johnson 1984).

References:

  • Cooper, M. R., Johnson, A. W. 1984. Poisonous plants in Britain and their effects on animals and man. Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, England. 305 pp.

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