While some may believe that the chicken forms the egg's shell, it is in fact the egg itself that does most of the work. When an egg forms, it needs something to protect itself. As a chicken egg is still developing, a protective membrane surrounds it. Columns of calcite (the same material that makes up bones and seashells) form on the membrane at evenly spaced points. As the calcite spreads out around the egg, it eventually forms what we commonly know as the shell.
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