The price of top pigeons today can be quite high. It is not uncommon for a top bird to cost $10,000 or more (sometimes much more). In part this is almost certainly due to the large capital prizes offered to the winners of a number of futurities. While this is a reality that we must deal with, there are two points that buyers of pigeons need to keep in mind.
First, there is an old saying, "The price of quality is almost always high, but paying a high price does not guarantee you will get quality". Years ago we had a large swine breeding operation that sold breeding stock. One year we purchased with some partners a national champion for $15,000. It was quite a substantial price at the time. The boar was the talk of the industry. The breeder who sold him was honorable and honestly represented him. The fact was though that the boar did not breed very good hogs. We sold him for sausage a few years later and culled all his offspring from our breeding program.
Second, there are two currencies that can be used to obtain quality racing pigeons. Most people think only in terms of Euros or Dollars, but the other currency really has much more buying power. It also has another fantastic advantage in that we all have plenty of it (or rather I should say, we all have the same amount at our disposal). This second currency is time. We all get 24 hours per day and 365 days in a pigeon racing calendar. Let me cite an example of how the time currency can be spectacularly more effective than the traditional currency we usually think of. About the same time that we purchased that boar who was the national champion, my partner and I went to a breeding stock sale put on by a new breeder deep in the hills of West Virginia. Almost no one else came and we were able to buy what we viewed as the top boar in the sale for $200. The boar went on to become one of the top breeders of his era and was the sire of many high priced boars. Now it took us four or five hours to drive to this sale. If just one of our competitors had driven the same five hours and had been at the sale, we might well have entered a bidding war and the boar might have gone for several thousand dollars. Fact was that we spent the time and they didn’t. Believe me, time really is a currency and it can completely out bid the Euro or the Dollar. Buying several well bred birds at our base price and spending a few years testing them out can be a very effective use of your ”time currency”.
Given the current market and the time and money we have invested in our breeding operation, we believe we have a program which offers high quality birds at reasonable prices. In fact, when you factor in the testing and culling that we do, we believe our program just may be one of the very best values in the sport. We do have some very expense elite birds, but frankly, most people are probably better off with our base priced birds. They lead to the same place, though they require a larger investment of the time currency.
Specifics about the cost of our pigeons is found here.