Ostriches are likely to swallow practically any small or medium-sized object that is offered to them, but this does not mean that they may not be injured as a result. Being very stupid birds, or perhaps too trustful of human beings who offer them ice picks, files and other “delicacies” to eat, they cannot be relied on to judge what they can digest successfully, and many zoological parks have lost valuable birds as a result of this indiscriminate appetite.
Ostriches can survive a reasonable amount of foreign substances and, like many other birds, actually require stones and pebbles for the proper functioning of the digestive system. It may be that captive ostriches swallow the harmful object offered them because they do not get enough pebbles or the proper food in captivity. Certain it is that if wild birds ate as much indigestible material as do captive birds, the ostrich clan would shortly become extinct.