By Joe McFarlane and Jessica Testa
A playful duck doesn’t allow his spine deformity to get in the way of having a quacking time at his home in Melbourne.
Alicia Taylor has bred ducks and geese from a very young age, having grown up on a farm.
In 2016, Alicia was asked to take in a care for a little adorable Indian Runner duckling, who was named Tiddles by a friend’s daughter.
Tiddles was a godsend for Alicia, as his happy-go-ducky attitude kept her company throughout her ordeal with a major heart attack.
However, after Alicia began to recover and gain her strength, she noticed it was eight-week-old Tiddles who was in need of help, as the adorable duck kept tripping over this own feet.
As Tiddles continued to grow, he continued to have difficulty walking, and instead looked more like a drunk dancing duck, to the point it became clear that the brave bird had a deformity in his spine.
As the years passed, it became harder for Tidds to walk properly, as his leg function was restricted due to his spinal deformity and he would uncontrollably shake in a similar symptom to Parkinsons disease.
Alicia said: “Tiddles can loose his balance and fall onto his back. He sometimes needs help to get back on his feet, so Tidds lives in a custom built perspex box in my lounge room.”
But four years later, and thanks to Alicia and her efforts to make the ducko’s life as pain free and pleasant as possible, Tiddles is living life to the fullest in his home in Melbourne, Australia.
Alicia said: “Each afternoon Tiddles gets time outside with the flock, and on weekends he travels with me to a block of land in the Australian bush. I have a comfortable off the grid shed there and we use it as a base for going exploring and bushwalking.
“The other ducks don’t pick on him, but they know he is different too. They allow him to sit with them in the yard, but they will also move out of his way at times.
“Tidds is the centre of my world. My life revolves around his care. Waking up to see his sweet face every day is a joy. He is a sweet, funny and compassionate little feathered soul, and smart too.
“Having Tidds gets me out enjoying life and experiencing new things. It is an absolute honour to care for such an amazing little guy.”