On Monday, we noticed that the smallest triplet was a little hunched over, a little bit tottery, just not quite as sprightly as the others. We offered a bottle of goat colostrum, to see if he just wasn't getting enough to eat, and sure enough he sucked it right down. A few hours later, the same result... he was nursing off his dam the entire time but it seems that he's the loser in the competition-for-the-nipple event that takes place every time she stands up. All three are in the mix in this picture and I can't really tell who's winning.
Thanks to the advice of super-helpful Coopworth mentors Pam and Nina, we have instituted a nightly weigh-in. (Most of these photos were taken by Terzo, as my hands tend to be full, and so you are viewing an almost-six-year-old's perspective. May help to explain some of the angles, such as the one below where he cropped out the scale that we were using to suspend the lamb sling, making it look like some sort of bizarre lamb airlift ritual.)
The first night (Tuesday) confirmed that he was having trouble keeping up -- he had lost a whopping pound off his 9 lb birthweight, while the other two had gained a pound. By then we were feeding him regularly and he was getting used to the routine, running up to us and trying to suck our kneecaps every time we entered the pen.
We were thrilled tonight to see that he gained a whole pound, and is hopping along with his brother and sister (though he still lies on top of them, we suspect for warmth.) Luckily he is still nursing off his mom, and so I don't feel compelled to run out there for a middle of the night feeding as I do for lambs that are completely on their own. Doesn't save me tonight, though, as we have another ewe thinking about going into labor