I understand this won’t be for everyone however if you have herbivore pets then composting will take care of itself.
Manure from plant eating animals acts as an ‘activator’ for the composting process. The nitrogen in the manure / droppings enriches the bin with millions bacteria, these feed on the woody material in the bin and in the process reproduce themselves creating trillions more bacteria plus heat which speeds up the process significantly. The important factor is to have enough woody material for them to feed on, wood shavings and straw which are used as bedding material for hens and guinea pigs is perfect otherwise dried stalks and small woody garden prunings are important. The books recommend a ratio of 1:30 nitrogen: carbon, where nitrogen is manure or leafy material and carbon is woody material. Most of us have too little woody material in our compost bins.
Turning the compost bin is good but not compulsory it just means that the material at the edges will get composted and the process of turning incorporates air into the bin which is also important for the aerobic bacteria taking part.
It is important to have a roof on the compost bin otherwise all the nutrients will get washed away however I like to leave a little gap here and there to make sure it doesn’t get too dry – bacteria, being life forms need some moisture to thrive!
I keep chickens and I have an open fronted compost bin (built on paving slabs over a weed proof membrane) in their enclosed run, the hens merrily explore the goodies in the compost pulling it out in every direction. I keep a spade nearby and rebuild the stack every day, adding the daily droppings from the henhouse (which are mixed in with sawdust or straw). This technique produces rich compost after just three months, anything not fully composted gets put back into the new pile – I am happy and the hens are happy!
So happy composting to all of you who have guinea pigs, hens, rabbits, cavies, goats, etc…