A Review of the Jacobin Standard by Tom Reich


When viewing a finished Jacobin in the show pen, (by finished, we mean every feather has been moulted in, or finished out) the first and absolute requirement the bird must possess is carriage or (type).  When showing, the Jacobin presents itself in a very upright and steady position.  It must pose as an every ready stretcher.  The significance of this demanding posture displays at best the bird's overall degree of balance.  Within this process of stretching, the Jacobin will slightly tighten its neck skin (feather tracts) as it draws its neck into fill reach, thus shaping its flowering formation into a firm, blending and evenly fitted appearance throughout.

The head formation must also be set in even perspective with the Jacobin's body.  Ideally, if one were to draw a vertical line from the center of the bird's foot it would pass through the middle of the rose.  The pigeon should stand this erect and still with the proper "show table" manners while displaying its side profile to the judge.  A free or natural show bird will exhibit this demanding conformation naturally, (the bird's own natural posture) and little or no coaxing with the judging stick is required.

Should the Jacobin crouch or squat, a disqualification may be called.  The bird should never overshow, that is, cast its entire body in such a backward motion that it inadvertently stumbles over its own tail and wing flights.



The standard stresses that the Jacobin's body must possess an overall slim, contouring appearance, that when viewed from whichever angle, a sleek, slender effect will prevail throughout.  The body should gradually taper in, from the Jacobin's breast, down through its tail, and never present a cobby nor stout build.  This entire shape should offer the viewer a smooth streamline form.  The width between the shoulder region must especially promote a narrow breast margin.  Both wing butts should be covered with breast plumage.

When showing or stretching properly, the back will arch upward, exhibiting a slightly hollow, dipped or concave effect.  Wing flights must be carried above the tail at all times; their length should extend to the end of the tail.  The neck must provide good length, or reach, giving its feather formation a tall formation to radiate around.  The legs, also of medium length, should be set forward enough, enabling a Jacobin to cast its body vertical or upward with greater ease when showing.  The foot might find proper alignment, parallel with the rose above it.  If placed too far back, the bird might be hindered from showing freely for any certain length of time.  Correct leg setting gives ease and agility to the showing Jacobin's attentive station.  Long, smooth hock feathers help dress up the show Jacobin completing this entire smooth, slender silhouette.


Head Formation

Before we begin orientating the entire head formation governing the ideal Jacobin's makeup, one must first understand the basic locations of the various feather components along with their identifying terms.

View the Jacobin in side profile, while standing at attention.  An imaginary line might be drawn vertically through the center of the rose, extending past the top of the entire formation's height.  the chain is that portion of feather extending forward beyond the bird's face.  The formation enveloping the back is referred to as mane.

The mane and chain themselves are subdivided.  This division exists from a horizontally drawn line which passes through the Jacobin's eye level.  The areas above this division are phrased, the upper chain extension and the upper main extension.  These two lines provide the head formation with four unequal parts.

Top feather is the amount of length of feather extending upward above the Jacobin's head.  So another imaginary line may be drawn across the top of the head to exemplify them.

The hood is that section of feathers located at the back of the head which curves slightly upward and forward toward the back.  Simply, the hood is the first row of feathers lying directly behind the back of the Jacobin's white marked head.  It's the Jacobin's long "shell crest."  All feathers behind the hood, yet above the head are top feathers.


Side Profile

Within both side profiles centered within the formation's narrow whip-in region, lie the rose.  Defined as that focal area where the outermost side profile feathers originate and radiate around, each rose somewhat resembles the center of a whirlpool.  The size and circumference they possess basically reflects how the two entire side profile's outlines will balance and match each other.  If completely circular and set in even relationship with each other, there should exist a happy medium of balance characterizing each side.  The small, low profile "baby rose" is also of merit, giving an illusion of size and smoothness throughout the bird's side profile outline.

When viewed from side profile, the entire head formation appears to originate from the base of the neck, since this lowermost extension of mane and chain distinctly comprise the shortest width across the entire formation.  Both sides must be set a relatively close to each other as possible while resembling the other evenly in curve and outline in order to produce the necessary trim, tidy appearance distinctly tapered from the body.  We refer to this immediate areas the whip-in.  Its effect will determine how well rounded the entire formation's appearance may display.  If aligned in an even, narrow perspective here, the whip-in ma then exploit an ideal "foundation" to base the perfect perpetuating circular sweep of outline.  The remaining formation may then widen dramatically around the head producing a completely circular finish.

From the whip in area the mane and chain must continually rise outward in opposite directions forming a solid arc, further and further distant from each other, as wide as possible yet maintaining the identical and proportional outline of the other.  As the two sweeps reach the Jacobin's eye level, (the widest area of the hear or width formation) each must especially display a high fullness of outline (as these portions are somewhat prone to slack off here) where they begin their curve upward toward the top feather region.  Both gradually continue, rising evenly while providing their full contributions to top feather and blending together, set as high above the head as obtainable.

This entire formation must stress balance of outline.  When viewed from side profile, the entire mane, chain, and top feather must equal and compliment each other in every respect.  Both sweeps must arc together perfectly, high above the head, forming a circular outline as refined and as smooth as possible, yielding a continuous blend of feather structure characterizing each related formation.



As the Jacobin's back faces the viewer, the main should exhibit a thick, luxuriant density of feather fullness centered directly between the shoulder region.  The two outermost sides of the mane should contain this feather wealth, preventing any one side from being favored.  This wealth of feather should neither wax nor wane during its course around the back of the Jacobin's neck, but remain full and even throughout.  Ideally, this feather mass should yield one half (1/2) the entire formation's side dimension.  That is, if a Jacobin's side profile width were seven (7) inches across, the mane then would be three and one half  (3 1/2) inches thick.  When viewed from side profile, this mane formation should rise sharply above the back gaining height and width while maintaining full feather density.  The upper mane extension must continue rising high and full developing into a smooth heavy mass of top feather.  The body of the mane's heavy appearance is derived from feathers stemmed from a row of feather tracts extending along the back of the Jacobins' neck.  These feathers fill in the mane providing the necessary feather wealth or thickness.  As they "climb" the neck from the mane's whip in region, these feathers must constantly and steadily lengthen, blending with increasing feather length as this wealth rises upward and outward throughout the top feather.


"Stay Feather"

Radiating directly from the rose, stay feathers will be described as the outermost feathering encompassing the bird's immediate side profiles.  Stay feathers provide the glassy smooth feather finish apparent throughout these two side formations.  These feathers themselves, must be firm and hard each resembling a strung archery bow.  They govern the mane and top feather wealth by keeping their feather density centered evenly between the bird's shoulder region.  Each stay feather sufficiently firm and bowed, should reach up from both sides and slightly touch each other somewhat "encasing" the feather density between them, keeping it evenly and smoothly in tact, thus completely enhancing the entire mane and top feather formations.


Hood and Top

Keeping in constant alignment with the mane, top feather is said to originate where the upper mane extension curves above the Jacobin's head.  The mane contributes extensively into the formation of top feather, providing a continuous blend of feather wealth vital to its formation.  Top feather literally absorbs the upper mane and chain extensions with its mass, building a strong flowing dome of feather, engulfing the head within its uniform magnitude.

When viewed from above, the bulk of feather seen extending across the top of the Jacobin's head must also equal the density and width of the mane's feather wealth in every respect.  Stay feathers containing the top feather's fullness must keep in perfect alignment with the mane's stay feathers to ensure an even, smooth and rounded appearance throughout.  Thus, from whichever angle the Jacobin is viewed, a perfect and balanced effect will be noted.

The hood consists of those feathers lying toward the back of the Jacobin's skull, directly behind its white marked head.  When viewed from front profile, this portion of the top feather will resemble a shell crest, only longer.  It must rise solid, firm and evenly placed above the head, while extending forward toward the beak.  Its forward curving reach should extend at least above the eye region.  When viewed from above, the hood will appear as an even line from eye to eye extending around the upper contour of the skull.

As the stay feathers travel along both the outermost sides of the top feather's formation, beyond the hood's reach, they begin forming the upper chain extensions: lying above and directly in front of the bird's head.  The hood, seated behind this chain area must rise forward high above the head, bridging each chain side with itself.  These two stay feathers shields should aid this portion of hood setting here by curving or bowing (resembling the curve of a barrel stave) toward each other leaving a gap no wider than the width between the bird's two eyes.  The hood itself must possess the proper feather texture, sufficiently strong enough to resist the pressure exhibited by these sense top feathers directly behind.  These same top feathers when firm held high, curve forward enough, reaching well above the hood's restraint adding a profuse display of illustrious feather finish while blending in throughout the top of each chain side leaving this area above the head with a smooth, well rounded, solidly fitted appearance.  If this development can maintain all these requirements, your Jacobin will then possess what we term, the proper "cap fit."

To help better understand the overall appearance of the Jacobin's top view, curve each hand slightly and part the fingers a little.  Now bring your hands together in this position touching each finger from one hand with the respective finger of the other.  Also bring each wrist together and part the thumbs so you can look through.  This is what the entire top view of the ideal Jacobin's mane and top feather should resemble.  Your finger tips should not be pointed, rather they should curve to resemble the rounded ends of stay feathers rising from the bird's two sides.  Your wrists will symbolize each rose and the space between each and will demonstrate the Jacobin's feather wealth or thickness.  When viewing a Jacobin's mane and top formation from above, stay feathering from the bird's two roses should not grow or extend straight up, leaving the Jacobin's sides with a flat appearance.  Rather, these stay feathers should be so curved or bowed, and the two sides so uniform, that the roses cannot visible.  The tips of the stay feathers should also be properly curved, leaving the immediate top of the mane, hood and top feather with a rounded appearance.  We refer to this effect as "roll in" and should prevail evenly throughout these entire formations.



Viewing the Jacobin's side profile, the entire chain extension should in size and length duplicate the same full reaching outline offered by the mane's structure, producing a full compliment of "twin" outlines.  These two major formations must promote a complete blending balance of outline throughout, corresponding precisely with each other while demonstrating outstanding total width and height.

Stay feathers radiating along the immediate outsides of the top feather's formation form each separate chain side as they curve outward high above the bird's face.  While standing parallel to each other, each side contributes the same solid feather length, unison with the top feather's reach.  This high development must gradually curve around the bird's front, shadowing its head and beak within its smooth, high enclosure, leaving a gap no wider than the space between the Jacobin's own eyes.  Evenly, the two chain sides draw closer together, closing this gap just below the bird's beak line and remaining so while centered perfectly even down the middle region of the neck.  As this sweep tapers closer to the neck, an even, narrow perspective of whip-in must complete for the formation with a distinct, very trim fitted appearance, finely matched with the lower mane's extension.

Stay feathers compose the total content of chain plumage: their presence exists throughout the entire chain formation.  These feathers should bow or curve outward from the rose and circularly radiate throughout the chain in the same general fashion as the mane's stay feathers.  The noted difference however, is the amount of stay feathers composing the chain.  The remaining stay feathers composing and adjoining the inner lining, should possess a high degree of feather density providing fullness and feather wealth to the chain.  These inner stay feather are firm and somewhat dense, yet curved proportional to their outermost counterparts.  This body of feather must be obtained to provide the Jacobin chain with fullness, yielding a smooth evenly curved, semi-thick finish.  So blending are these feathers that it is difficult to distinguish one from the other.  This smooth appearance explains why the color of a Jacobin is so brilliant and prominent within the chain region.  The chain's stay feathers are so tightly "knitted" that when a portion is pulled back by its feather base with the judging stick, these feathers "peel" back in segments.  When released, these segments spring back into their original position and almost immediately blend with their other undisturbed stay feathers.  A perfect feather combination must be obtained to provide a Jacobin's chain with a solid, firm, contouring appearance from above, and side profile views.  Each chain feather is "linked" uniformly with the other as the formation travels down the Jacobin's neck.  Hence, the term, chain itself is appropriated from this linking effect.



The standard's evaluation requires the presence of two pearl or white eyes, possessing small, well defined pupils surrounded by even, sounded colors irises.  A single bull eye penalizes the Jacobin one point.  Double bull eyes are admitted in the AOC class or cut three points for lack of color.



Color must be considered an equally important factor regarding the standard's entire conformity.  An even, lustrous shade must basically prevail throughout the entire body.

Blacks must show an intensive deep glistening black, demonstrating a metallic beetle green luster, completely free of purple.  The iridescence must extend throughout the wing shields, breast and leg areas.  The color should not show any fading, or provide flat, off black or grayish impression.  Some blacks are exhibited with reddish shading, basically predominant within their secondary wing feathers.  This color effect is referred to as kites, (arrived through red/yellow plus black color improvement matings).  Kites are not considered true blacks and are given to the AOC class.

Reds must possess a gleaming rub red finish, with a pronounced copper feather sheen.  Green tinting must be avoided.  The red shade must extend evenly throughout the body.  Grayish fading, and ash red color must not appear anywhere along the body, save for the secondary wing flight tips.

Yellow, (a dilute of red) must exploit a rich uniform color tone, thus promoting a golden pinkish feather sheen.  The color must never show fading, nor be ticked with faint white flecking within its plumage.

Whites should give an even, satin smooth, silvery appearance.  When viewed at close range, a white should give off a scant bluish feather sheen.  Colored feathers must never accompany the white's self, labeling it an AOC.

The blue must obtain a bright even blue color providing a green metallic feather lust.  Smoky blue appearance must not be present nor should the aforementioned ticked effect mark up the blue's color, with black flecking.  The blue's ultimate goal is to obtain a light pastel damson (damascene blue) with two thin distinct bars ending each wing shield.

The silver, (blue dilute) should possess a soft, very light even luster, promoting an overall silvery appearance.  The metallic green feather sheen should also be present in this color with two well defined brown bars extending along the bird's secondary flight feathers.

Dun should exhibit an intensive glistening color, presenting a green shimmer to its feather.  The color should be free from purple.  Red or checkering its undesired and the dun will lose points for these faults.  The Pacific Jacobin Club and the Eastern Jacobin Club have adopted a color class exclusively for the dun and is judged separately from the AOC class.  These are the only existing Jacobin Clubs giving the dun this recognition that I know of, all other Jacobin organizations delivery it as an AOC.

The AOC class is an abbreviation for any other or class those colors are not accepted by the Jacobin clubs are shown in this class.  Mis-marked birds, cream bars, mealies, duns, straws (red and yellow straws) kites, etc., are given a chance for show competition and points evaluated otherwise for color are dropped, leaving the birds judged with consideration to their other attributes.



Jacobin markings specify a white head, extending from a horizontally drawn line just below each eye.  The primary wing flights should be white and number ten and ten on each wing.  The tail and rump must also be white and extend upward along the Jacobin's back.  These markings must be even and pure, free of any color.


Feather Quality

Feather quality (the sound structure of) in itself may determine the difference between a champion and an "also ran."  for without proper feather structure, a Jacobin cannot satisfy the requirements set forth by the standard.  Sound feather governs the extensive conformity a show Jacobin must adhere to.  The show bird's entire formation is essentially dependent on the structural strength of each individual feather; all must bind together, exhibiting at best advantage the quality of formation they individually inhere.  Feather condition alone either enhances or detracts from the bird's chances of becoming an outstanding show exhibit.

Focusing on an individual formation feather, the desired traits should employ a firm, hard quill, for without it broken mane, chain and top feathers are likely to occur.  Proper feather holds a high resiliency to wear, fighting, handling, etc.  The feather barbs or rays, should be set as close as possible to each other, forming a tight web contained by a sufficient quantity or number of barbules extending along each feather filament.  These hooks hold each feather ray tightly together, by catching their respective feather strands.  In essence, this ideal formation should assume the basic properties for the most part of normal feather development, taking in stride the demanding feather length we impose upon it.

In review, the basic overall view of a Jacobin representing the standard should present a type show off, stretching at attention while lifting a full display of smooth, sound feather, balanced throughout with clear, crisp, well defined outlines, laden full, with a heavy, evenly controlled mass of feather density...truly a living art form.