Posted by Word Camel on November 15, 2004
I have just finished watching and episode of "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggly Winks" (because now my televsion viewing consists solely of children's television and the occasional BBC crime drama) in which Piggly feeds his donkey oats in an effort to turn him into a race horse, to disprove the proverb "you can't turn a donkey into a race horse".
Anyway... according to the story, if you feed an animal too many oats it goes a little crazy, gets very frisky (not sure if this is meant in the naughty sense) and is, at least temporarily, full of energy.
I thought I'm mention this because it seems a likely basis for the expression "feeling your oats" or "sewing your wild oats". From those of you who know about these things, it would be useful to know if this is true.
As an aside, if you have small children about, I can't recommend Jakers enough. It's a very sweet show. It reminds me of my own childhood, spent hunting for fairies and leprechauns in the days before Sesame Street.