Vital Farms

Farm/Brand HeadquartersAustin, TX
Market AreaWhole Foods Nationwide
Total Score2220

We started our first farm 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 108 sq ft 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.

TOTAL (possible score is 2600) 2220
5-Egg Rating | Top Rated
Family farms and farmer cooperatives that market their own eggs receive the most points. Corporations that do not produce any eggs receive the fewest points.
Ownership Structure
90farmer owned LLC, produce all their own eggs
Flocks of 500 birds or fewer receive the most points based on Animal Welfare Approved standards.
Average Flock Size
100under 500 birds
Single henhouses receive the most points.
Single or Double Henhouses
Animal Welfare Approved and Biodynamic certifications receive the most bonus points. Producers are not penalized for not having additional certifications beyond organic.
Other Certifications (bonus points)
Points determined by integrity of the brand’s organic certifier.
Organic Certifier
Farms that are 100% certified organic receive the most points, farms/brands that are split conventional and organic receive fewer points.
Commitment to Organics
100100% organic
More than 1.8 square feet per bird receives the most points, less than 1.2 square feet receives the fewest.
Indoor Space per Bird
100full outdoor access
Farms with perches, scratching areas and deep litter or year round pasture receive the most points.
Indoor Enrichments
80majority but not all farms have enough perch space
Farms that freshen litter weekly receive the most points.
Litter Management
100year-round pasture access
Farms that ensure birds have ample access to outdoors during daylight hours receive the most points.
Natural Light
100Birds have ample access to the outdoors for natural light during all daylight hours
Farms that ensure 108 square feet per bird or more outdoors receive the most points.
Outdoor Space per Bird
8050-150 acres per farm of outdoor rotation space
Farms that ensure birds are in mobile housing or 1 large door per 75 birds receive the most points.
Popholes/Exit to the Outdoors
100at least one door for every 75 birds
Farms that ensure birds have access to feed, water and shade outdoors receive the most points.
Outdoor Enrichments
100feed, water, shade
Farms that can ensure outdoor access year round or those that only confine birds during inclement weather receive the most points.
Outdoor Space Exemptions
100outdoor access year-round
Farms that use mobile housing rotated on pasture every 1-2 days or weekly receive the most points.
Outdoor Management System
100rotated pasture with mobile housing, moved every 2 days
Farms that recycle chicken manure on the farm, using it for fertilizer, without causing nutrient pollution, receive the most points.
Manure Handling System
100manure is spread out by birds through rotations
Farms that never force molting receive the most points.
Forced Molting
100no forced molting
Farms that never trim or tip beaks receive the most points.
Beak Trimming
80beaks tipped on day one
Farms where hens live an average of 3+ years or 1.6-3 years receive the most points.
Laying Hen Lifespan
401.5 years old
Farms where spent hens die a natural death, are sold for meat, or are processed and sold for human consumption, receive the most points.
Use of Spent Hens
100sold live for food, eggs
Farms where the death loss rate of hens is less than 3% annually receive the most points.
Death Loss Rate
406-8% annually
Farms that breed and incubate their own chicks, or raise their own pullets, receive the most points.
80raise up from day old chicks
Farms that allow pullets access to the outdoors within the first 6 weeks of life, or within 6-10 weeks, receive the most points.
Pullet Access to Outdoors
60around 12 weeks old
Farms where all feed is produced on the farm receive the most points.
Feed Produced on Farm
50no feed produced on farm but birds acquire part of diet from pasture
Farms where 100% of the feed is grown in the US or Canada receive the most points.
US Grown Feed
100all domestically grown
No points are given for this but the information may be useful to certain consumers looking to avoid soy.
Soy in Feed
Yessoy in feed ration
Farms that do not feed synthetic amino acids receive the most points.
Synthetic Amino Acids
70No more than 2 lbs per ton
Farms that participated in Cornucopia’s research providing full transparency receive the most points.
Disclosure Rate
50no producer list, not a full photo set