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Turkeys pardoned by President Trump make new home at Virginia Tech

Bread and Butter to live out their days at Gobblers Rest

BLACKSBURG, Va. – On this Thanksgiving eve, there are two very lucky turkeys settling into their new home at Virginia Tech.

President Donald Trump pardoned the turkeys Tuesday, sending them to Hokie nation.

“It’s a fluffy life if you ask me,” said Rami Dalloul, professor of poultry immunology at Virginia Tech.

The National Thanksgiving Turkey, named Butter, and wingman, Bread, are planting roots in Gobblers Rest in what’s become a tradition for the university. The National Turkey Federation has sent the presidentially pardoned poultry to Blacksburg for the last four years.

“Free room and board and tuition free and you don’t have to go to classes, right?” Dalloul said.

They'll get round-the-clock care from experts in the poultry program, who use the national spotlight to educate visitors.

"We take that opportunity to tell them how important the turkey industry and the poultry industry overall is for the commonwealth," Dalloul said.

Bread and Butter will now be neighbors to last year's lucky turkeys, Peas and Carrots.

"They're not happy about the newcomers because this is their turf," Dalloul said.

They'll have to learn to share the turf before visitors start pouring in this weekend.

"We have anywhere between 1,000 and 2,000 people come through over the span of like four or five hours," Dalloul said.

The public can meet the newest Hokies on Dec. 1 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Livestock Judging Pavilion located at 445 Plantation Road.


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