Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about IHR...
  1. So what are your hours- and why are you only open to the public on weekends, June - October?
    We are open from 12:00 to 6:00pm every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from June through October. We are not open to the public prior to June or after October because the weather is generally inclement and certain animals cannot be on display then. We are also not open during the week because there are only a few of us to run the Ranch and we all have full time jobs outside of the Ranch in order to supply income for our families.
  2. If I schedule a group tour to the Ranch, can I get a discount price?
    Yes, discounted rates are available to groups of 15 or more paying individuals. Groups can include schools, churches, organizations, scout troops, homeschoolers, birthday parties, families, etc. Please see our Group Tour page for more info.
  3. My [family, friends] are only in town during the week...is there any way we can come to IHR before the weekend? They will be really sad if they can't!
    And we will be sad too... Really! Can you possibly make it on a Friday? The Ranch is now open on Fridays during the summer. If not, then read on..... There is always a chance that we will be open for a contracted group tour that week - so if you don't mind, we can let you come in at the same time the group is here- but you have to call and confirm, so to be here at the correct date and time. Otherwise, we cannot accept walk-ins during the week. We don't want to disappoint those little Ranch Hands in your group!
  4. Do you actually live here- I mean in THAT house? And do you ever take vacations?
    Well, uhm, yes -- we do live on site... it would be tough not to be around in case of any emergencies. Yes, we know the house is old (built in late 1800's) but when you have animals you don't spend much time (or effort) on your own living comforts. We strive to keep the animals our top priority. Vacations? ... Wait... what 's that?? ...Sometimes one of us has to go on a weekend jaunt, for business... So yes, we sort of take time off from the Ranch -- but never together as a family, someone always has to be within shouting distance of the Ranch - you never know what might need attention.
  5. What does it cost to feed all these animals?
    We estimate about $1000 a month just in grain, and $1500+ in fresh produce and other specialized feeds. We raise and make our own hay and straw - to the tune of about 5000+ bales a year- which costs us roughly $23,000+ in potential income. We also have costs in specialized food for the exotic species we care for - not to mention the labor, supplies, and equipment costs for the feeds we harvest and make ourselves. Unfortunately, feed is not the only costs we have to worry about here as we also have expenses from electricity usage, veterinary care, property maintenance, heating/cooling buildings, farrier care, improving enclosures, etc. We would love to boast a healthy profit from the ranch, but truth is... the costs far outweigh the income. That is why when people criticize the ranch in negative reviews we take it so personally and get upset - no one knows just how much is sacrificed by the owners to keep the ranch alive for their enjoyment.
  6. Wow! You guys really make a lot of money, don't you?!
    Bahaha!! ...sorry, I mean... *ahem* ...Well, no. Not really. IHR is only open to the public 66 days out of the year. That's only income from 66 days out of 365 to sustain roughly 200 animals consuming large amounts of feed and requiring significant care and housing (imagine your pet dog/cat times 200... O.o ...I know, right?). Aside from feed, we have expenses from electricity usage, veterinary care, property maintenance, heating/cooling buildings, farrier care, improving enclosures, etc. Sure, we supplement the income with tours during the week and some offsite petting zoos... but taking care of animals is not a profitable venture for us. The owners have never received any pay for their 17+ years service to the ranch, and the staff are primarily volunteers/interns. It takes over 10,000 paying guests in a summer for us to make ends meet for the year. When we only have 5,000 guests, the owners pay the difference with the money from their own personal jobs. ...So when you visit the Ranch, please thank a ranch hand for making IHR withstand the test of time!
  7. Okay- My friend told me I could bring bread and things to the Ranch to feed the animals when I come. So what type of foods should I bring?
    Well....uhmmmmm....your friend has misled you slightly. Yes, you can feed our animals - but our regulating agents require us to be able to know the source of our feed at all times, for safety reasons. We must be able to control and monitor all of our animals' intakes - so with that said, we cannot allow feed from outside sources on the property. The feed we buy and in turn sell to our visitors has all been checked and approved for the animals ahead of time, and the much-needed funds acquired through feed sales help us support them during the winter while we are closed. Thanks for understanding.
  8. How long can I expect it to take to visit the Ranch?
    Boy, that's kind of a loaded question.. But usually folks stay about 2 hours. They tend to go through and see everything once, then go back to their favorite animals - usually buy some food for them and have fun feeding them. They also like to take plenty of pictures, and parents like to sit and relax in the shade and share with each other their experiences at the Ranch while the kids play in the purple-sanded sandbox. To see all the animals we recommend at least an hour. If you will be doing extra activities such as pony/camel rides, mining, or the corn maze, then you will want to plan to spend up to 3 to 4 hours with us. But, of course, everyone is different. Some spend 30 minutes, and some spend 6 hours. It's all up to you and how fast/relaxed you want to make your visit. If your family is planning to explore just the Corn Maze, plan on 2 hours, as it is pretty challenging for most. Avid mazers can sometimes make it through in about 45 minutes, according to the times of our Corn Maze Challenge winners!
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