When it comes to the world of animal Twitter, you can have your Sockington the cat and his 1.3 million followers, your common squirrel and his 98,000. Betty the chicken is the real deal.
Unlike those imposters, who rely on human interlocutors to actually, you know, tweet, Betty’s down there in Australia doing the hard stuff herself. It’s for her employer, a chicken restaurant called Chicken Treat.
It’s fascinating stuff, too.
“79./. a1,” she tweeted Thursday, not long after offering this, uh, nugget: “//.uhg86y 7iu ./;lii========= 67 nm/ aw /.”
She’s going to keep this up until she tweets out a “proper 5-letter English word,” the company says on YouTube. It’s a bid to get into Guinness World Records.
This all sort of brings to mind the “infinite monkey theorem,” the idea that even monkeys will write the complete works of William Shakespeare if given enough time.
Researchers at a university in England tried it out in 2003.
“But after a month, the Sulawesi crested macaques had succeeded only in partially destroying the machine, using it as a lavatory and mostly typing the letter ‘s,'” the BBC reported at the time.
Virtual monkeys have been more successful. In 2011, a Nevada man succeeded in getting a bunch of computer programs simulating monkey typing to reproduce the entire works of Shakespeare — albeit it nine characters at a time.
Betty did type “bum” once, but that seems to be the closest she’s come to anything recognizable as a word.
The stunt has generated some blowback from animal rights activists.
One Twitter user posted a picture of chickens in a cage with the label “Chickens don’t tweet they lead tortured lives.”
Chicken Treat — not Betty — tweeted back that the effort has been “been approved by (the Australian Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) & abides by all standards regarding animal welfare.”