Information on the Red Tractor derogation on windows in poultry sheds

Red Tractor poultry_74253

In 2017, Red Tractor announced that the standards for broilers, poussin and free range would require windows which equate to at least 3% of the floor area in all poultry sheds by 1 October 2023.

The standard is being phased in and all producers are required to install windows which equate to a minimum of 1% of the floor area from 1 October 2020. Due to the disruption COVID-19 has caused since March 2020, Red Tractor recently announced that a derogation has been issued which means the requirement for windows has been extended by three months. Therefore, the standard for windows will now be required for certification from 1 January 2021 rather than 1 October 2020.

Red Tractor has put together a list of FAQs related to the standard requirements for windows. This will benefit broiler members who are Red Tractor scheme members and those thinking of joining the scheme. Click here to go to the FAQs.

How does this affect me?

Growers without windows at 1% of the floor area should have already heard from their certification bodies about applying for this derogation.

You should contact your certification body without delay if you:

  • Don’t yet have windows but want to apply for a derogation as you have a plan in place to meet this standard by 1 January 2021
  • Feel you will be unable to meet this requirement by 1 January 2021

If you feel unable to meet the requirement for windows by 1 January 2021 you should speak to your certification body at the earliest opportunity and present a plan as to how and when you will be able to meet the requirement, which will be assessed on a case by case basis.

What is the standard requirement?

The standard requirement for windows is outlined as follows:


HF.e.2  Windows must be fitted in all buildings which house birds

Species covered

  • Broilers and poussin
  • Free range

How Red Tractor members will be measured

  • The translucent area of the windows equates to a minimum of 3% of the floor area
  • Windows are evenly distributed
  • Windows are double glazed to provide insulation and prevent condensation
  • Where glass is used it is laminated or toughened on the inside for added safety
  • Shutters are fitted in order that daylight can be closed out if required (e.g. during extremely hot or cold days)
  • Shutters are open from day five during daylight hours unless veterinary advice states otherwise


If I already have 1% windows, do I need to upgrade to 3% windows?

Yes, but you have until 1 October 2023 to do this. This ensures that all Red Tractor broiler, poussin and free-range chickens have access to natural light from 1 January 2021 but allows extra time for those who already have 1% windows to upgrade to 3%.

I’m unable to get windows fitted in the timeframe allowed (by 1 January 2021). What should I do?

If you feel you are unable to fit windows by 1 January 2021 you need to speak to your certification body as soon as possible and explain the reasons why it is not possible. You need to have a clear plan demonstrating how and when you will meet the standard requirement for windows and this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Can windows be opaque/frosted?

Yes, as long as they let natural light through.

What materials are acceptable for windows?

Glass and polycarbonate are both acceptable. Windows must be double glazed. If using glass, it must be toughened on the inside. If using polycarbonate, it is important not to allow a build-up of dust or insects between the sheets – this can occur where the sheets have not been sealed together.

Can the windows be in the roof?

Yes, windows can be in the roof, but these may require a higher level of management on warmer days.

What constitutes ‘evenly distributed’ windows?

The object of the windows being evenly distributed is to ensure an even spread of light throughout the house. It can be harder to manage the use of windows where light is not evenly distributed. Windows may be just down one side of the house or they may miss out panels evenly throughout the shed due to the presence of fans etc. Ultimately, assessors will be looking for as even a spread of light as possible.

Are pop-holes considered windows?

Yes, pop-holes allow natural light in and therefore count towards the requirement for windows.

How do I contact my certification body?

NSF Certification
Hanborough Business Park, Long Hanborough, Oxford OX29 8SJ
Tel: 01993 885739
Email: YWdyaWN1bHR1cmVAbnNmLm9yZw==

SAI Global Assurance Services
PO Box 6236, Milton Keynes MK1 9ES
Tel: 01908 249973
Email: YWdyaWZvb2RAc2FpZ2xvYmFsLmNvbQ==

NIFCC (Northern Ireland)
1A Lissue Walk, Lissue Industrial Estate (East), Lisburn, Northern Ireland BT28 2LU
Tel: 028 9263 3017
Email: aW5mb0BuaWZjYy5jby51aw==

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