Potty parrots help owners with their daily chores including hanging out the washing
Household chores are a burden that most of us would happily put off for as long as possible.
But parrots Bosun and Archie have a different attitude and like nothing more than helping out with the cleaning and gardening.
The birds particularly enjoy using their beaks to put clothes on the washing line to dry, according to owners Sharon and Reg Hill from Brixham, Devon.
Sharon, 47, said: 'They are both very nosy and need a lot of mental stimulation.
'When we’re at home they roam freely through the house. They just love to get involved.'
The birds take part in chores ranging from loading the washing machine to vacuuming the floors.
'When I’m doing the washing they perch on the washing machine door as I’m putting the sheets in,' Sharon said. 'They hold the washing powder container.
'They even grab the clothes pegs in their beaks when I’m hanging out the washing.
'And they join in with the vacuuming too - following me around and sitting on the Dyson.
'They’re amazing - very intelligent. It’s like having young children around the house.
'But for them we’re just part of their flock - they’re being sociable.'
The parrots even join their owners on shopping trips and help out at the couple's allotment.
'When they come to our allotment with us, they sit on the fence and watch us work,' Sharon said.
'Given half a chance, they will be up in the fruit trees or helping themselves to a few raspberries.'
Sharon helps run Birdline UK Parrot Rescue, a charity which provides safehouses where birds are assessed before going to a permanent foster home.
Run entirely by volunteers, the charity takes in about 1,000 birds a year, and Sharon has been so successful in promoting its work that nine parrots are living with her neighbours.
Because parrots can live into their nineties, many outlive their owners.
This means they can become depressed, and there have even been cases of birds being given Prozac to help them overcome their loss.
'They need a lot of stimulation,' Sharon said. 'They can get depressed and start self-mutilating by plucking out all their feathers.
'African greys, particularly, can end up on Prozac.'
Sharon said some of the parrots seen by the charity arrived in poor condition.
'They can come in bald and self-mutilated from being kept in too small a cage,' she added.
'We have one who is partially sighted, one with slightly deformed hips.
'We are seeking new members who are willing to help by becoming safehouses, or possibly permanent foster homes for rescued birds.'
She went on: 'We are always in need of homes for these animals.
'As people increasingly find themselves short of money, more birds are being handed in to us.
'More birds are in poor health as owners are unable to afford vets’ bills.'
Source: Daily Mail