Yarmouth family quackers about pet

A HOUSE-TRAINED duck who enjoys watching television is man’s best friend at the home of a former Great Yarmouth doorman.

Darren Wheeler, of Sturdee Avenue, bought the three-month old Aylesbury duck for his seven-year-old daughter Kaci after she grew fond of feeding the ducks at Bure Park.

Kaci’s pet duck, called Fluffy, sleeps in the kitchen, nibbles people’s feet while they’re watching TV and enjoys a scrub in the family’s bath.

Fluffy has befriended the family’s pet husky dog Spirit and shares cat food with their three cats - and Darren, 45, says the family could not wish for a better pet.

He added: “With the knowledge I’ve got now, if somebody asked me what pet they should get I would say a duck. They’re very chatty and easy to understand.

“When his beak starts opening and shutting I know he needs some water, and when you put them to bed they’re asleep as soon as you put a sheet over the pen.

“They’re a gardener’s best friend as they eat slugs and snails and there’s a seven-year-old boy in our street called Lewis who brings snails over in his little bucket.”

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A laughing Darren said: “Fluffy looks quite good sitting out in the front garden.When people walk past, their second look is best.”

The father-of-four bought Fluffy from a woman in Norwich for �10, and the duck has been roaming the family’s terraced home ever since - and making himself part of a the family.

“He likes music and he’s quite into the music videos on TV,” revealed Darren.

Fluffy originally had a duck companion called Puffy, but he died.

And since Puffy’s death, Darren said Fluffy had grown closer to the husky Spirit.

“When there were two ducks they kept themselves to themselves in the garden but now Fluffy sits with Spirit and treats the dog like his best friend.”

Fluffy’s diet comprises lettuce, cat food and special pellets for ducks.

Darren said it was a common misconception that ducks like bread, but the food does not contain the nutrients they need and too much can kill them.

His children Aaron, 17, and Kaci, get on well with the duck but his two eldest children, who no longer live in the family home, have not got used to Fluffy being there.

Darren explained: “One time my 21-year-old daughter Stacey came in and said the duck had chased her out of the house – flapping his wings and everything.

“And I’ve noticed if you look at him in a certain way he can get scared and aggressive, but if you don’t give him eye contact he doesn’t mind what you’re doing.”

Now Darren has plans to build a pond in the garden for Fluffy and has bought a 10-day-old duckling to keep him company, so Fluffy doesn’t spend so much time with the dog.

“As the dog is a husky I’ve got to keep an eye out or I’ll come back and there will be no duck left. Spirited away!”