Maybe feeding them bread and cat food is not a good diet for chickens?
I am sure bread and cat food are more expensive then chicken food anyway?!
I don't want to sound mean.. but if you can't afford to even buy chicken feed then perhaps you should think if you should be keeping chickens at all.. or at least stop buying more chicks?
If your pets get sick you need to be able to get them medical care... what will happen if you dog gets sick in the future.. or its get age related medical problems?
We only fed Mavis bread and cat food when we were force feeding her (it was soft and palatable) and the others only get it when we are waiting for our pay check (like today. You see, we were suppose to get a bonus check a long time ago and didn't, but that is a long story...). They also have forage and scrambled eggs, ect, so my goal is to give them all the nutrients they need while we wait.
Chickens are one of the cheapest animals to keep, and they are a great tool for learning about keeping, breeding, selling, and the genetics of animals. My family always tells me I should lower the number, which I have from 65 or so down to 50, but it is just so hard when you know each of their names and personalities to say good-bye no matter how or where they go.
We always find a way to pay for any vet care for our dogs or cats when necessary, I guess the main reason we are low on money is because we have five growing teenage boys in the house (LOL ). Boy do they eat a lot (not to mention all the shoes, clothes, laundry, dishes, doctor visits, medication when sick, schooling, ect). Thankfully, all the kids are old enough to begin getting jobs and money should be stabilizing soon because of it.
Thank you for the advice though, I know its true that maybe I shouldn't have chickens, but we always find a way. We had gotten rid of our old flock because of money issues and that was hard. We also had to get rid of our goats. But again, we've always found a way to make ends meet (thank God) and we are just thankful for having a stable job.