Questions and Answers

Should you have any question(s) about the Jacobin Pigeon (be it breeding, diet or any) please send your question to JLIB_HTML_CLOAKING   and we will be happy to give you the appropriate answer(s).  We do have quite a number of members and Jacobin Master Breeders that will be willing to give their expert knowledge and experience to us all.  

Question:  I am to start breeding and I want to know what safe dewormer I can use for my pigeons?

Answer :   Chevita GMBH of Germany makes the ultimate best wormer and strictly for pigeons.  Designed and researched by pigeons veterinarians to work completely.  Ascapilla is used by popular racing pigeons enthusiasts world-wide.  It is indicated for hairworm. roundworm and even the tapeworm.  It also gets all known worms in the "Larvae Stage" as well as fully developed worms.  Available at Jedds, Foy's, New England Pigeon Supply or directly from the importer, Denica Enterprises. l personally use it just once a year.  Easy to use, one gelatin capsule per bird.  Follow label directions. Best of luck to you in your breeding season.  Remember, "Ascapilla +" at the beginning of the breeding season.  It really has no equal and safe for your birds.


 Dennis Soares (Jacobin Master Breeder - USA) 

 Question: How long do you wait for the switching of eggs from the jacobins to your foster breeders? In my practice before, I do it between 5-7 days, this way, I can see if it's a fertile egg or not and secondly to avoid the original parents to produce milk (they usually start producing on the 10th day of incubation, this way none is produced as you prep them ready for next batch. Being in new in Jacobin breeding, I just thought I ask as I might be doing it wrong. Thank you.

Answer : I make sure it's before the 10th day after that the parents start to produce milk.  Michael Reinhardt

Answer :  I don't switch eggs much because my jacobins feed their own young , but if  eggs are not fertile I remove on day ten. I never remove ever till day ten.  Eggs that have been destroyed by mishap have on occasion triggered too fast a cycle so in this case I replace with wood eggs till day ten. You want to keep things moving at a nice steady pace.  If you value your hens for sure pumping them for eggs is very bad.  I dont think any milk produced is causing any proplem at all and will simply be reabsorbed into the system and most likly to the breeders benefit.I know for sure a top breeder who always waits till day 15.  I dont have time to wait the five extra days or I might.  I have to have the bulk of my breeding done before the fire of hell summer. Steve Gaskin

Answer :  I will always let my birds set the eggs for 14 to 15 days before I remove them. I have never had any kind of issue with the birds and their milk. Also by letting them set that long I have better timing with the foster parents when they lay again when they still have youngsters. I also have heard not to fly racing homers when they are producing milk as  the birds won't make it back from the race. I have won many races including several 500 mile races with the birds flying back to day old to 5 day youngsters without any problem from their milk.  John Hundrup


Question:   I am curious about how many of you line breed...Father to  Dughter..... Mother to Son....From what I have gathered some have success and others  said it was the worst mating they had ever experienced. I am breeding a really nice yearling red hen to her red father this will be my first for i have only crossbreed...So hopefully  this mating will provide some good offspring??????????  Any Input?  

 Answer :  Line breeding is all I do and have done for the last 40 years along with my dad. The only way to build consistancy and a strong bloodline is to line breed.  Anyone that tells you not to line breed has no idea how to build a great bloodline and I guarantee you is not a top breeder for any length of time. Maybe they get a fluke here or there but without building a bloodline how can they or you expect consistancy in every bird in every color.This has always been my goal and I often tell people that ask me how i breed so many great consistant birds that my son who knows nothing about jacobins can put togeather the pairs and still breed many great birds because my line is very consistant.  I have had breeders tell me that Ii am playing games with them that I keep showing them the same bird until I line them all up and they relize my birds are all the same some excel a little more than others but most birds I breed probably 90% are show quality. As I tell everyone, do what makes you happy but this is what has worked for my dad and I for over 40 years. Say hello to your Dad for me and good  luck.

I am going to give you a key to breeding great jacobins move your best cocks between many hens. By doing this you will get to see what matings work and which do not.Many breeders leave a pair togeather all year and never get to see anything except what this pair throws by mixing them up you will get related  youngsters with many different strengths and weaknesses for you to work with.This keeps you from having to breed fault to the same fault and allows you to breed strength to strength while building a consistant related bloodline.  Also always get rid of the old and breed with the young if you are doing it right the young will be better and your birds will progress quickly. I do not or should say I very rarely keep birds longer than 3 years.About 75% of my breeding pairs are young every year.

Sergio DeAlmeida (Jacobin Master Breeder - USA)

Answer:   If you do not line breed your Jacobins you will never establish a family. You will never develop consistency or predictability and you will never leave your mark as a breeder on your birds or the breed. All breeds and strains of livestock have been established through line breeding and inbreeding. Any mating is a good mating with line breeding as long as you remember that the relationship of the mating is pointless unless the individuals compliment each other or put together features you are trying to establish or set into your birds. Just know that prolonged inbreeding can weaken your birds and make them smaller, less fertile, and more susceptible to disease or genetic defects if not managed properly. In birds we can get away with much closer relationships in matings for much longer periods of time and it seems to have a lesser impact than in larger stock. In our purebred cattle I would never dream of making such close matings for prolonged periods of time now as our experience has shown too many negative effects. 

However in our birds - simply by keeping good records and breeding several families within your own loft and crossing them back and forth and culling low fertility or weak and undesirable birds you can go for many, many years. It has been my experience also that when anything has been skillfully linebred for generations and they begin to get smaller or "average" looking - that is when an outcross can be a good thing. It would appear that when this happens the family has hit a "genetic wall" and you can go no further with the genetics you have to work with. "Secretariat" was a great example of this however you will often see the daughters of the greats that have reached that genetic plateau are the most valuable to breed from. For some reason it seems to skip a generation at that point. These linebred birds can often be genetic goldmines and with the right outcross all the years of selective breeding will often come out.  This was what the Bachman birds were like in the last years. However I need to emphasize that I would still not tolerate any serious faults in such a linebred bird.This is also why when I am looking for an outcross to add to my birds I always look for a bird from a linebred family that has the "mark" of the breeder on it and the years of breeding behind it, that I can trust will breed true. In conclusion- if the birds match- make the mating. Find out for yourself and show us the results.  


Clint Robinson (Jacobin Master Breeder – Canada)


Answer :  "Practical Inbreeding" by Watmough is a neat little volume that is an easy and interesting read. It might help help explain what Sergio has said though he too has made a simple and straightforward case for linebreeding.   Dave Kozakiewicz


Answer :  The closer the family and the fewer birds in the gene pool.....the better.   Ask any major breeder about the relationships in his or her will find they are close as hell.....Anyone trying to add a certain breeder's line so to speak....accesses the same gene pool that came from the Canadian, Springfield, Illinois triangle.......the only issues are how far removed any group of birds is from that original stock that came from Vern Bale, Roy Boug and Paul Mc Norgan......Louie Christener was part of the mix....and put his eye on his birds from those three.....Mc Norgan and Boug traded readily with Bale and Christener..... Bachmann's birds came from Boug, Mc Norgan and Christener. ..Stepnowski's birds came from Boug as did Walling's,  Dave Loewen had Boug birds,  Mc Lean's  original birds will have to be traced through Ron if he will be so kind to address this thought.......Leroy Cox got his birds from Stepnowski,  Harry Alexander got his birds from Bachmann and Boug and Ecker gives credit to Louie and Ray years back.....Ron Davis has had great success with birds from every one of those sources especially Leroy Traub  who got birds from Bale, Mc Norgan and Boug.....My own birds are proudly represented today with the help of Clint Robertson, Ron Davis, Bill Sacher, Owen Kalland, Doug Boyland, Fred Maenpa (Yes the Norwich Cropper Master Breeder).....Roy Boug, Christener, Mc Norgan, Ecker, Sergio, John Manckia (who got is birds from Stepnowski and others including Sergio....make the link) Traub, Jim Landenberger, Bob Riegel,   but know that Landenberger, Traub, Riegel had birds from Bale and Boug and Mc Norgan......and each put his own twist on the lines that were freely part of the mix.......I can expand on this further to almost every other Jacobin country in the world......and say that nearly every line of Jacobins I know of with any success.....can trace  lineage back to Springfield or Ontario, Canada.     

Mc Norgan did in breeding or line breeding whichever you like to call it.....but the closest relatives possible were part of every successful line of birds in every breed he ever had......Boug thought out crossing was the way to do it.....but Boug's  idea of outcross was to get a bird back from Louie that was down from something he had sent him a couple of years before......and his other great outcross was to mate cousins together......yeah outcross indeed........

Ask any successful breeder today how many outside birds they bring in each year.....You will find the number is small or nil......but very specific  for a particular quality.....
It is your own mix that determines the cake here so to speak.....some like more eggs, some more flour, some like it fluffier, some more chocolate ....others vanilla or apple spice......but the ingredients all go back to the original source somehow......and your trial and error in the Jacobin kitchen so to speak is what will determine your success here....   

I am a firmly planted student of Paul Mc Norgan....and I know that my own success is drawn from keeping the breeding as close as I can as long as the birds I am using have the ingredients I want.....   If I do not have the ingredients. I need..... I go next door and borrow some salt........ get it?

Mine is only one view here.....and I hope that the others will bring the mass of their great experience here on this is a particularly good one......for anyone breeding Jacobins or anything else......Those cattle or guppy or poultry or rabbit or dog or cat breeders among us seem to have an appearance of an unfair advantage sometimes.....but when you breed animals of any kind particularly pigeons you will find there are some basic rules and basic outcomes that transcend every thing else.......go figure.....

 If you focus on those qualities you want......and hit them again and again  til they are will raise  birds that have what you want......We all do for your out I mentioned.....out cross is only a word.....that may or may not describe what you are doing.........a bird from Ron Davis or Jim Ecker  may well be the cousin or half brother or sister to something you got from a third breeder on the other side of the country.....or world for that matter.........and an out cross if it is truly an out cross....may work just fine as you already know.........but as Sergio and Dave have both reiterated.....the family bloodlines are developed from related specimens and those related specimens have similar if not the exact same characteristics    and they get better if you do it right.....and if they don't......go get birds that have what you want that are close relatives to the  birds you want to breed from.......

Don Chevalier has under a dozen birds to breed from this coming year..... but I will venture a guess that every major breeder of Jacobins in this country has something from Don Chevalier in his loft.....and if not there is a line waiting to get what he will part with......but Don's dozen are down from birds obtained from three breeders over a dozen years ago.....Ecker, Clint Robertson and Louie Christener.....and where do you suppose the history of those birds goes?   Uh got every one of the three birds is line produce what he has today.....and what he has is better than what he started with......and nothing else has been added in a dozen years to what he has......he keeps it simple  and the birds he raised this year are better than the ones he had last year.....they get better if you keep selecting for what you want.....and remember the birds you see.....are not just the birds you see....if they are related....they are also the birds that raised what you see......and if those look like what you will raise more of them.....and better ones too......keep the fires burning here.......

What a great time to be raising Jacobins.....

 Drew Lobenstein (Jacobin Master Breeder – USA)


Try out this link to the Watmough Book, Originally published over 60 years ago. May be a little dated but a lot of the content still applies and in parts links with the recent posts from our current "Master Jacobin Breeders" based on their own experiences over many years.


Question :  To start a program to lengthen the top feathers or the complete hood, what were you looking for in a bird to get this started??  Jerald

Answer :

As far as focusing on the feather length in a breeding program: It is no different than focusing on any other feature. When I see a feature that I want to enhance in my birds I simply focus on it. I do not try to change the entire family immediately but rather I take the birds in my loft that are strongest for the features I want and mate them together even if they do not compliment each other in other ways. I do this for a couple of generations. In the case of adding bigger feather I only used the biggest best quality feathered birds I had and also paid great attention to the detail of correct hood setting and proper chain structure with no shingling ect. I was careful not to build the traits I was after from birds that were flawed in the features I was focusing on. However I often largely ignored other features like body refinement, colour, length of neck and so on, but at the same time only used birds from my own family so I did know their background. Within about 3 years I had birds that excelled in the features I wanted and they were dominant for those features because their parents also were strong in these features so they were often maybe even homozygous for these traits. I then took the resulting offspring and began to work them into the rest of the family to inject the features I was after into the entire population. Because they were bred for this they normally throw the traits I want into most of the babies. The important thing is to breed as many young as possible to get that one baby that puts it all together for you. I find it almost always happens in the end. This works much better than buying an outcross bird and not knowing what is behind it. However it takes years and patience.
Clint Robinson (Jacobin Master Breeder – Canada)