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Unexpected circumstances during wildfires last September help out Kristopher Buxton.

Buxton Farm has been having new litters of Kunekune pigs every couple of months send to Montana, Utah and several surrounding states as the popularity of the newly-registered pasture breed explodes worldwide.

Kristopher Buxton, who owns the Kunekune farm near Oregon City on Dillman Road, said "the Disney character of pigs" have become a beloved breed for their loving, loyal and carefree characteristics that remind people of Labrador retrievers.

"We could all use some cute piglets in our lives right now," Buxton said. "They are a pasture pig, so you do not feed them waste or scraps; they get everything they need from the pastures and/or large yards and some water."

Kristopher Buxton calls Kunekunes an affectionate and loyal breed of pigs as they pasture on the farm near Oregon City.Kunekune, pronounced Cooney Cooney, means fat and round in Maori. The breed's origin is unknown, but Buxton is excited that once almost extinct type of pig is "coming back with a bang."

Kunekune were probably brought to New Zealand in the 1800s by whalers operating in New Zealand waters to be traded with Maoris, according to the New Zealand Kunekune Society. New Zealanders recently "rediscovered" the pig breed, and its popularity has soared from its original six sows and three boars bred in 1978.

Buxton's breeding efforts exploded under unexpected circumstances during the wildfires last September, when the farm's Kunekunes evacuated to St. Paul. At the evacuation site, the "the boys took right to the girls" producing what Buxton is now calling "fire litters."

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