Farming: Wool in Sheep's Clothing

Wool in Sheep's Clothing

Not every shepherd these days is out tending his flocks in a field. To produce a more perfect wool, some Australian farmers are keeping their sheep indoors and pampering them like Park Avenue poodles. They provide tires, logs and rubber balls to keep the sheep amused, feed them a vitamin-enriched mix instead of letting them graze, and even wrap them in cloaks to protect their fleece from dirt.

The result of this extraordinary care is Sharlea, a wool whose fibers are undamaged by weather and virtually dust free. The fleece of a Sharlea sheep now brings farmers $56 for about 7...

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