My ducks have always gone in the duck house at dusk with no problem. Even before I go out to put them in the house, they have gone inside as dusk approached. For the last two weeks, with the daylight hours shrinking, it takes a lot of effort to get them in the house to stay, even after it is dark they prefer to be in the run area. I have even started feeding them at night to encourage them to go in the house. We have lots of critters (coyotes, birds of prey, raccoons, opossums, etc), so it is imperative that they go in the house at night. (Run area in not secure enough for cover of darkness). They have been outside in the run for about 12-14 hours a day and now that time is shrinking due to darkness. This week they are out from about 8 am until a little after 5 pm. I know they prefer to be outside with their kiddie pool, grass, availability of forage, etc, however, it surprises me that they prefer to be outside when it is dark now, when they are so cautious otherwise. Is this typical when daylight hours get shorter? They are about 5-7 months, so I wonder if it is just them being less cautious/a little more bold as they get older? They do appear to be wandering a lot further from the house in general - even took off down our gravel road when out free ranging a couple of times. I have been gone past nightfall two times in the last week, and they have stayed in the outdoor pen, even though the light is on in the house, food is in there, and they have access to go inside, and they were seemingly quite frightened being out in the dark? Their house seems to have become less of a safety zone to them for some reason, and more of a, "ah mom, do we have to go in there?" No changes in structure, interior, etc in the house, so I am clueless. And no events, that I am aware of, that would make them frightened of the house for any reason. We actually have two houses one from drakes and one for ducks. Same problem with both. They seem to want to stay out and play, and, yet if a plane/hawk flies over during the day, they head for the house or cover. Granted, even I prefer the outdoors to indoors, but not at night!