Longtime HGTV star Christina Hall is mourning the tragic death of her pet chicken, with whom she’d forged a close and unlikely bond, even calling the bird her “emotional support chicken.” In an Instagram post on March 24, 2023, Hall revealed that the silkie chicken, who went by the names Jennifer, Hennifer, and later Bennifer during its brief life, was attacked and killed by a “predator” at her family’s Tennessee farm.
The post included multiple photos of Hall and her family with their feathered friend. She explained that during a solo trip to their farm last weekend, her husband of a year, Josh Hall, discovered that Bennifer was gone.
“We lost our sweet Hennifer / Bennifer to a predator who got into our pen,” she wrote. “Josh was in Tennessee last weekend and found a pile of feathers. And unfortunately they were his. Never thought I could be so attached to a chicken but this was one special chicken. Bennifer was the only chicken who was eaten out of all 16 of our chickens. Ben you’ll be missed 💔 😭”
Christina Hall Called Owning Chickens a ‘Dream Come True’
Though Hall’s family lives most of the time in a $12 million home in Newport Beach, California, she also bought a farmhouse near Nashville in 2021, according to People, where she filmed her new series “Christina in the Country” and loves to take her kids — 12-year-old daughter Taylor and seven-year-old son Brayden, whom she shares with ex-husband and former HGTV host Tarek El Moussa, and three-year-old son Hudson, whom she shares with former husband Ant Anstead.
In August 2022, the family adopted several chickens and built a chicken coop designed to look similar to their farmhouse, as seen on the February 16 episode of “Christina in the Country.” In a post at the time, Hall shared how excited she was to raise the chickens.
She wrote, “Dreams do come true- chickens 🐓 for our brand new chicken coop!! Can’t wait for some🥚🍳!”
Hall quickly bonded with one particularly fluffy silkie chicken, whom she thought was a girl, and called her both Jennifer and Hennifer on social media. On October 2, she shared a photo in her Instagram Stories of the chicken cradled in her arms and wrote, “My emotional support chicken.”
Though the family built a luxury chicken coop on their property, as seen on the February 16 episode of “Christina in the Country,” Hall often let her favorite chicken inside their home and even used their bathtub as a birdbath. On December 10, Hall shared an Instagram video taken by her husband as he opened the door to their primary bathroom to find Hall giving the chicken a bath.
“Wait, what are you doing?” he could be heard saying, to which Hall replied, smiling, “She needed a bath! Look how dirty the bath water is.”
She then could be seen blow-drying the chicken’s feathers as the bird stood patiently on the tiled floor. Hall captioned the video, “I may or may not have a favorite chicken. #Hennifer
During an Instagram Live on February 2 viewed by Heavy, Hall revealed that they’d had a chicken expert come to their home and learned Hennifer was actually a boy, so they renamed him Bennifer.
“So we have a chicken named Jennifer who we found out is now Bennifer,” she said. “I truly thought it was a girl. Silkies are a complicated species because they kind of all look like girls.”
Fans Support Christina Hall as She Reveals Pet Chicken’s Death
Many of Hall’s 1.8 million Instagram followers flooded her Instagram post to send her messages of love and sympathy. Several said Bennifer was likely being brave, standing up to the predator.
One person wrote, “He was probably protecting the flock and that is why all the rest of them are alive.”
According to the Raising Happy Chickens website, silkie chickens make a perfect first chicken for many families because they’re so gentle and chatty. However, because they’re so sweet and trusting, they can often be bullied in a flock of other breeds, it said.
Another fan commented, “oh no :((( it always hurts when we lose our buddies to predators.. it’s part of farm life that sucks”
Someone also wrote, “😢 so sorry i know you loved him”
During their Instagram Live in February, Hall’s husband Josh assured fans that their animals are well cared for when they’re back home in California.
“Somebody always asks … who’s taking care of the animals, he said. “We’re not negligent parents, our animals are not just sitting on the farm waiting for us to come back. We have caretakers that help, that actually send us videos, pictures, updates. We love those animals.”