Paul, I've been doing some reading online and apparently mid october is the season for planting oats here. They seem to do like winter wheat, grow a bit then go dormant. Then green up in the spring and put up the seed head.
Most of the rainfall here is during the winter, tho there is not much 'winter'.
I believe in God's willingness to heal.
Cyngbaeld's Keep Heritage Farm, breeding a variety of historical birds and LaMancha goats. (It is pronounced King Bold.)
Cyngbaeld, I am nearer to the gulf coast but have had very little luck with oats. On the other hand, we plant lots of ryegrass every year(sown on top of the ground) and have had varying successes with the different clovers(very expensive seed.)
I do not remember the exact variety but I will give you my experiences with them. First, I have had bad luck getting the seed to germinate well. Then, every time I would get a good stand, it would turn very yellow as it grew. I will say I got the best stands when I would disc up the land very good and plant into a firm seedbed. However, with the ryegrass, I have had good luck almost every time(with varying success due to weather.) I planted the named varieties of seed oats but do know quite a few people who have planted "feed" oats and have had decent success.
Instead of oats I would recommend planting wheat. Wheat will do eveything you would want from oats and with a lot less risks to crop problems. Oats are far more tempermental and subject to greater insect damage.
Cyngbaeld, "I" dont know of anyone around here (again I am much closer to the coast than you are) that grows oats to the grain stage even though I'm sure it would be possible. I have always been trying to get the forage qualities out of it. Try to get your local extension agent to help you out on this one. They can be invaluable. If I was you, I would try anyhow. By the by, what kind of birds?
I sowed oats for a local farmer about two years ago up here near Abilene.
We sowed them in late September. Ran a heavy disc over the ground, then used the grain drill we had set up for wheat, with a pipe drag behind it. From what I remember it grew pretty good. Seems like we only disked when we sowed oats, and only used sweeps when we sowed wheat.