Sticking with the plan, we left the feeding of the chicks to the male today (as we did yesteday). He didn't do as well today. One chick actually lost weight, one stayed even, and the other two had slight gains. So we fed them this evening. We'll give him another shot on his own tomorrow and adjust the plan accordingly.
But there is good news:
First, chick #1 is regrowing feathers on the bare spots on the back of his head, neck, and upper wings where his mother plucked them all out.
And though they have not been gaining weight as fast as we would like, none of them are weakings by any means. They all squawk, and chirp, bite, and squirm to get free when they are being restrained for feeding. They walk well, running with those big feet however is a skill yet to be mastered. For little peepers they can peck pretty good, and each has the grip of a dairy maid.
We are anxious for them to put on weight but at this point we're not worried that they are feeble or sickly.