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Kenton couple’s house has gone to the birds

Kenton couple’s house has gone to the birds
By EMILY WILLIAMS
Messenger Intern
When you walk into the home of Bill and Treva Adams of Kenton, you are likely to be welcomed by a whole host of greetings, but not from either one of the Adams. Or any other human for that matter.
It is probably Elvis, Barney, Rambo or one of the other exotic birds that resides in their home.
With everything from African Grey Parrots, know as the best “talkers” of birds, to the beautiful and vibrant Blue and Gold Macaws, the Adams raise more than 40 exotic birds from all over the world in their home and the cages that line their backyard.
The Adams’ “exotic” hobby began more than 10 years ago when their son gave Bill a parakeet for his birthday. The bird was so smart the elder Adams quickly fell in love and bought more within a year.
Whether they are singing “Happy Birthday,” carrying on a conversation on the telephone or counting for the children at Headstart where Mrs. Adams works, these birds are enough to entertain all day or much, much longer.
Unlike the typical household pets, these birds have lifespans of around 50 years and require quite a commitment.  
Feeding 40 birds is no inexpensive task, costing the couple over $100 a month. In addition, Adams spends at least two hours a day taking care of his pets. Babies have to be hand-fed with bird formula, beginning when they are two weeks old, in order for them to grow up trusting humans. In the winter, the outdoor cages must be covered in plastic to keep the temperature at an appropriate level, much like a greenhouse. These animals also require a lot of attention.  
But for the Adams, it is all well worth it.
“They are really like children,” Mrs. Adams explained, “They holler ‘Momma’ when I come outside. They wake up in the morning and say, ‘I want a bite.’ Each really has its own personality.”
The eight species of birds that the Adams raise sell for $150 to $900 each, but they only sell enough to buy feed and other birds. “It’s hard to get rid of any of them because you get so attached,” Adams said.
Editor’s Note: Emily Williams, the daughter of Roger and Juli Williams of Woodland Mills, is a senior at Rhodes College in Memphis. She is interning at The Messenger this summer.
Published in The Messenger 7.7.10

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