Located just a 15-minute drive from downtown a href="https://vacationidea.com/destinations/best-things-to-do-in-coeur-d-alene.html">Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, the Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch offers visitors a relaxing and educational gateway destination. While this owner-operated ranch has a variety of farm animals, including chickens, cattle, horses, and goats, their alpacas and llamas are often seen as the stars of the ranch. The husband and wife duo who own and operate the Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch take their passion for breeding llamas and alpacas seriously.
Having had successful careers in management and the military, respectively, the couple decided to move from their home base in Alaska to start a new adventure, which culminated in the start of the Seven Stars Ranch.
The Seven Stars Ranch has several horses, donkeys, and even mini horses. These adorable miniatures are often kept as companion animals due to their friendly dispositions and natural comfort around humans. Despite this, they retain much of their equine nature, as evidenced by their fight or flight instinct. For this reason, visitors should still exercise a reasonable amount of caution when interacting with them.
Raised for their fiber as well as for the comic relief they often provide on the farm, the three goats living in the Seven Stars Alpaca Ranch are a memorable lot. This trio is often lovingly referred to as the Three Billy Goat Gruff. The goats are classified as Pygora goats, a breed that results from crossing NPGA pygmy goats with white AAGBA Angora goats. The fiber produced by these animals falls into three categories: mohair-like fleece, cashmere-like fleece, and combination fleece. The versatility of the fiber produced by Pygoras has seen widespread use in knitting, weaving, and crocheting circles. For this reason, visitors will see many items made from Pygora fiber in the Seven Stars Ranch gift shop.
The cattle raised on the Seven Stars Ranch are raised for their meat. The animals are entirely grass fed and free of added hormones and shots. Unlike on typical ranches, the animals are not given additional grain for fattening. By allowing the cattle to roam the acreage freely, the cattle have access to an ideal diet for their ruminant digestive systems. In addition, the fact that they are kept on the ranch for a larger portion of their lifespan ensures that the meat harvested from the animals has a greater marbling effect.
Working alongside the guard dogs, the two resident llamas on the ranch are often charged with security duties. Fiercely protective, the llamas detect predators such as coyotes and wolves.
The five alpacas that are currently residing at the Seven Stars Ranch range in color from beige to dark brown. Both breeds of alpacas, the Suri and Huacaya, are represented at the ranch. Huacaya alpacas produce a fiber that can be spun on its own, while craftspeople who spin Suri fiber need to mix it with wool, silk, or cotton.
While often mistakenly identified as llamas, alpacas have a distinct personality and history. Though both llamas and alpacas are classified as camelids, alpacas have not been used as beasts of burden in the same way llamas have. Originating in South America, alpacas have always been appreciated for their fiber and their meat.
No stay at the Seven Stars Ranch is complete without a visit to their Country Store. There, visitors can purchase a variety of textile goods made from the goat and alpaca fibers harvested on the property. In addition, visitors can see a variety of household goods such as bowls, cups, and glasses. Visitors with an interest in knitting can also seize the opportunity to acquire the highest quality yarn to create their own alpaca masterpieces.
The playful animals, rolling pastures, and tranquil surroundings of the Seven Stars Ranch make it an ideal destination for those who are seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of their daily urban lives. The Seven Stars Ranch has successfully renovated a 100-year-old cottage, which they offer for rent through the Airbnb platform. The structure, which was originally constructed in the 1920s, has all of the modern amenities visitors will need for a relaxing stay.
Visitors wishing to explore the region beyond the Seven Stars Ranch will find a variety of natural attractions near Coeur d’Alene. This part of Idaho is known for having numerous glacial lakes perfect for boating, fishing, and swimming. Among the more than 55 lakes, Coeur D’Alene Lake is the most popular.
2885 S. Folsom Ridge Road, Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814, website, Phone: 208-755-4925