The Value of a Jacobin

by Clint Robertson



A Jacobin is not a commodity that has any set price. Its value is entirely in the eyes of the beholder. Like anything the value of any Jacobin is what someone is willing to pay for it. Quality is the main determining factor in price but availability is another. I will break down the different qualities of Jacobins and try to give you some idea of how some of us within the fancy would value them.

1.) Average Jacobins are common and more easily purchased. The value of such birds is often $50. or less and the person buying them is usually a pigeon keeper or novice just wanting to enjoy the beauty of the breed. These birds have all the attributes of the breed and can provide great enjoyment to the owner. As a breeder striving for perfection in the breed I do no keep birds of this quality as they offer nothing to my program.

2.) Next we come to Jacobins with an excelling feature but may have other minor faults that may make them less than desirable show birds but offer a great feature or physical attribute to a breeding program. These Jacobins are more difficult to find and you will find breeders are often not as willing to part with them. Such birds are worth no more to the average keeper but to the breeder needing this quality these birds now become a valuable addition to the breeding program. These Jacobins are often sold for $100 to $250 and with the proper mate these birds will produce some show winners as well as offspring that will advance a breeding program. These birds, at that price, are a good investment for the average breeder looking to improve his program. If you know what you are looking for, even the established breeder can often make good use of such birds.

3.) Now we get to show quality Jacobins. These are birds that are getting much closer to the standard than those previously mentioned and are much more difficult to produce and harder to get hold of as a result. They are normally nice balanced birds with no glaring faults potentially capable of winning classes in competition and often the result of matings involving birds from the #2 class previously mentioned. These are nice Jacobins to have around and most competitive, established breeders will have a majority of birds of this quality in their breeding programs. I have seen many Jacobins of this quality sell from $150 to $500. These are the type of Jacobins serious breeders would want to get started with and offer a nice foundation from which to start a family or to ad new blood to an existing program without taking a step backwards.

4.) Class winners or show winners that have been successful in good competition or Jacobins that have not been shown but are of this quality. Jacobins that are far above average. These are a rare commodity and are highly sought after and hard to get breeders to part with. These are the Jacobins that can move even an established program forward. I would estimate that birds of this quality represent maybe 10% or less of the overall Jacobin population and are largely the result of years of time, thought, understanding of the breed and hard work by devoted, knowledgeable fanciers. These birds are among the "cream of the crop" and thus can command premium prices. These are the birds established breeders would use to improve existing bloodlines or to start in a new colour with and instantly be competitive. I have seen Jacobins of this quality in recent years sell for from $250 to $2000.

5.) Show Champions or Jacobins that are of the quality to be Champions. Very few of these actually exist. Champion Jacobins that have won shows or are of the quality to become Champions in good competition under qualified judges are the ultimate product within the breed. These are the birds that every single breeder and fancier of the breed wants to own. These birds represent cutting edge genetics and are as close to the standard as the breed has progressed to this point in time. From one of these birds the skilled breeder can develop an elite family of show quality Jacobins. These birds have the ability to command huge prices. Firstly this is because the breeder usually does not want to sell them as these birds represent the "Best of the Best". With these birds price becomes a none issue in many instances because breeders are often not willing to sell them at any price - the pride that comes with breeding and owning such a bird is something money cannot buy and some breeders are actually insulted when someone asks 'How much". Over the years some breeders have responded by putting extremely high prices on these birds because they really do not want to sell them anyways. However what we have seen happening now is people willing to pay these high prices. My feeling is if you do not want to sell the bird then do not put a price on it because let me tell you - if you are fortunate enough to own a Championship quality Jacobin - someone will be willing to buy it. I know of Jacobins of this quality selling for from $500 to $5000. The other thing is I am also aware of is much higher prices of as much as $7500 being offered for such Jacobins but the breeder refusing to sell because the pride in owning the bird had no price. It all comes down to supply and demand. Ultimately the value of the Jacobin is what someone is willing to pay for it. Nothing more, nothing less. You as a breeder must know what the bird is worth to you and if you really want to sell it or not. As someone wanting to buy a bird - pay what you feel the bird is worth to you. Nothing more. However don't insult the breeder by offering less than what he is asking. If you are not prepared to pay the price simply look elsewhere. A Jacobin is not like some commodity trading on the stock market or with a set retail value. What you get out of the bird - whether it be from advancing your own program, in the show pen or just enjoying it in your own loft, is something only you can put a value on. I have found that in this fancy you must first prove yourself. We all must pay a price to get started. However once you have shown yourself to be a devoted breeder, fellow fanciers will always be there to help you. What goes around comes around. Trading birds between fanciers is a common practice and helping out fellow fanciers by giving a much needed bird should be considered an investment in our future. To the new fancier - do not expect to get started with the best. Prove yourself and work your way up. Others will have more respect for you and your personal rewards will be much greater. I can almost guarantee others will see this and help you along and if the opportunity comes return the favor. That is what really makes the hobby enjoyable for so many of us. However there are also many who enjoy the buying and selling aspect of the hobby also. There is nothing wrong with that either. However you choose to enjoy the fancy remember- honesty and integrity are good rules to follow.

 Clint Robertson        Email:

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