If you are into poultry and live in or around Missouri you may already know about Jacob’s Cave. If by some chance you have not heard of this swap, let me enlighten you on what is the largest poultry swap in the area and maybe even America. Jacob’s Cave is actually a tourist cave located in central Missouri North of the Lake of the Ozarks. Three times a year a swap is held here that has a focus on poultry but includes a little bit of everything. The size and variety is unbeatable.
I have no affiliation with Jacob’s Cave. I have never worked for them or been involved more than going there as a buyer. In the future we do plan on selling there. I am writing about Jacob’s Cave because I think it will interest those who read my posts. After all where else but Missouri are you going to find a poultry swap of this magnitude.
The swap meet has hundreds of visitors and tens of thousands of attendees during the four day swaps. I have seen all kinds of poultry and animal breeds there, everything from run of the mill chickens up to Emus. Like all swap meets the prices and quality will vary by the seller, but there is a good chance you will find something that interests you there. The swap isn’t limited to poultry, many other small animals as well as regular items will be found.
The rates for booth spaces are cheaper than many other similar venues with more people in attendance at this swap. This makes for a great place to sell your items. I read somewhere on the internet that attendance at Jacobs Cave surpasses 36,000 with hundreds of vendors. While trying to find the facts at the time of this writing that article cannot be found now. The article was older and I am sure the swap is now larger. The event has been growing and it seems the limiting factor to this growth will be the hilly terrain limiting available usable land.
Getting to Jacobs Cave can also be a challenge as traffic will back up all the to highway 5 and often start backing up on the highway itself. If your arriving at the heaviest traffic times (Around Noon on Saturday) I advise entering the swap from the south on hwy TT or else you may spend an hour waiting in traffic. Coming earlier during the day is a good idea to avoid the congestion, something us rural Missourians are not used to.
One of the times we went to Jacob’s Cave traffic was backed up on Hwy 5. It took us awhile to make it to the turn off on Hwy TT. When we were able to turn on hwy TT it took us over an hour to reach the entrance to the swap which was a mere 1.5 miles down the road. Parking was available, although traffic inside the swap was heavy.
There are a lot of booths, and to see everything will take the better part of a day. The layout is sprawling with parking and booths layed out on the top of mountain ridges. The topography is Ozark foot hills, so the valleys are relatively deep. With a location just north of the Lake of the Ozarks it can make for a great weekend if you want to do some exploring after the swap.
What is available will vary as there are regular vendors, but also an assortment of random vendors. The biggest day is always Saturday and Friday is the second largest day. Saturday afternoon a lot of vendors will start packing up and while still open Sunday it is a much quieter day. On Thursday not all vendors are setup and the crowds are smaller. So for me the ideal day is Saturday, although you might find the rare stock on Thursday and Friday being an early bird and get some great deals on Sunday from the vendor not wanting to pack everything home.
The closest city to Jacob’s Cave is Versailles Missouri. Versailles will have all the major stores like a Walmart, fast food and gas stations. There is also an open air flea market every weekend at the Versailles city park which provides extra bargain potential if you have the energy left.
So if you like such things Jacob’s Cave is well worth checking out. In the future I would like to sell at Jacob’s Cave just for the experience. You never know what kind of deals and such you will find in events such as these.
Jacob’s Cave has an official website. That is the best place to find when the next swap will be and other up to date information. Click Here to be taken to the Jacob’s Cave Website.