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Brand Name Vital Farms/Pasture Verde
Rating (4)    
Company by Vital Farms
Location Austin, TX
Market Area Whole Foods nationwide
Web Site

Four-egg brands have an excellent rating in terms of our 28 scoring criteria. In addition, brands highlighted in green, such as this one, provide "Enhanced Outdoor Access" to their birds. Their hens live in housing surrounded by a generous amount of outdoor space, which they have access to. We've invited all four-egg brands to write a bit about their farm and operation.

We started our first farm back in 2007 in Austin, Texas, with 50 hens and one simple idea – to raise healthy, happy egg-laying hens outside, on fresh pastures.  Just a simple combination of fresh air, salad and plenty of exercise is all that our girls need to provide us with the tastiest, most nutritious eggs imaginable!

They just love to be outdoors – it’s where these lovely ladies belong, not crammed into a warehouse. On our farms, they get to be themselves, roaming and foraging all day long. And with 108sqft of pasture each, they have plenty of space in which to do so.

You can just tell by looking at them how happy this makes them!

All our pastures are managed organically, which means we never use any chemicals or pesticides. We keep them well fertilized (thanks to the hens!), healthy and resilient by rotating them, and that keeps the girls in the fresh green salad that they love so much.

Our farms are regularly audited to ensure we maintain our high standards, and we strive to be as environmentally sensitive as possible in every aspect of our operation.  Coast to coast, from Georgia to California, about 90 independent family farmers are now a part of Vital Farms, and we are growing all the time.

With a more humane and ethical approach to farming, and a respect and care for the land that we steward, together we are showing that farming need not cost the earth.

Criteria Points Comments
Ownership Structure 60 private corp. that produces some eggs & buys from other farmers
Average Flock Size 80 avg. 2,386
Single or Double Henhouses 100 single
Other Certifications (bonus points) 60 Certified Humane
Organic Certifier 100 NICS
Commitment to Organics 40  sell organic & non-organic cage free from split operations
Indoor Space per Bird 80 min 1.5 sq ft/hen 
Indoor Enrichments 100 perches, dust bats, scratching, pasture access
Litter Management 80 litter refreshed often and after each flock
Natural Light 90 abundant natural light in henhouses
Outdoor Space per Bird 100 108 sq ft/hen
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors 100 6 large barn doors per building
Outdoor Enrichments 100 feed, water, shade
Outdoor Space Exemptions 90 outdoor access year-round except during inclement weather
Outdoor Management System 75 some fixed, some mobile housing, all rotated
Manure Handling System 50 contract farmers manage their own manure- some use, some sell it
Forced Molting 100 no forced molting
Beak Trimming 90 some don't trim, other trim 1st day of life
Laying Hen Lifespan 60 72-90 weeks old is policy
Use of Spent Hens 75 some sold live, others sold for processing
Death Loss Rate 80 less than 5%
Pullets 60 some farms raise from chicks, others buy ready to lay pullets
Pullet Access to Outdoors 70 ranges between 3 weeks up to 16 weeks
Feed Produced on Farm 50 no feed produced on farms but birds acquire some of diet from pasture
US Grown Feed 70 work with a large range of domestic feed mills but can't be 100% certain
Soy in Feed Yes soy in feed ration
Synthetic Amino Acids 70 No more than 2 lbs per ton
Disclosure Rate 100 full disclosure
TOTAL (possible score is 2700) 2130
FOUR EGGS (Excellent)