Some people do better with a visual. My local Master Gardeners put this together to help explain the process.
You can make the process as complicated or as simple as you wish. It can be as simple as making a pile and just leaving it there. Eventually it will break down (provided you are not in a desert where it dries out and petrifies) even if you do nothing. You can work really hard to get just the right mix of greens (nitrogen) and browns (carbon), layer it just so, keep it at the right moisture level, and turn regularly to really speed up the process. You can do a lot of things in between. You can toss that stuff in the run and let the chickens do all the work. You can do a lot of things in between.
The basic process is that the bugs eat the carbon, using the nitrogen for fuel. You want the pile to stay damp so the bugs can live and multiply and breathe oxygen. But you do not want it to be wet. That means the process will go anaerobic, the bugs are the type that don’t need oxygen. It will still rot (compost) but it will be slimy, stinky, and not as high quality. You don’t want that.
It’s extremely difficult to know the percentages of nitrogen and carbon in the stuff that you are using. Green grass clippings are considered nitrogen, brown dried out grass clippings are considered carbon, but they are not pure. They are mostly nitrogen or mostly carbon depending on how green or brown they are. Chicken poop is considered nitrogen but it has some carbon in it. It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to be precise. If you use two parts of mostly carbon with one part of mostly nitrogen you are close enough. As LG said, adjust, be flexible. A forest floor with a foot of leaves spread over hundreds of acres is a giant compost pile. Nobody is adding significant nitrogen to those mostly carbon dead leaves or regularly turning them yet they eventually rot.
Proper composting will kill seeds by the heat, but you only heat the middle of the pile. After a bit it cools down. Seeds on the outside don’t get cooked and the outside stuff does not rot. If you turn it to get the outside stuff in the middle it will heat back up and you greatly speed up the process.
What I suggest, if you go with bins, is to build at least two bins, maybe three depending on how fast you accumulate stuff. Use one as a working pile. Layer browns and greens and let it work. Turn it as you will. After a while, you’ll have compost. In that second bin, start collecting you garden wastes, chicken poop, kitchen wastes, whatever. You don’t need to turn it, just throw it in there. This is your collecting pile.
When the working pile is compost, I sift mine through a frame and screen I made with ½” hardware cloth into a wheelbarrow. Anything that goes through is considered compost and goes in a plastic chicken feed bag. If you use a paper chicken feed bag it will continue composting and rot the paper bag. Anything that does not go through the ½” hardware cloth sieve goes into the new batch.
When you have all the compost bagged, lay down a layer of browns, top with a layer of greens, then another layer of browns, then layer with the stuff in your collecting bin. A lot of that will already be almost compost. Then do another layer of browns and greens until you fill it up. After a week or two it will shrink dramatically. I put another layer of browns and greens on to fill it back up. After a short while, it will shrink again. I top it off again. Then I let it work, turning it occasionally, until it becomes compost and I start again.
What should not go in the compost? As always you get different opinions. Since not all seeds get cooked, do not put noxious weeds in there. Why take the chance of spreading noxious weeds? Do not put any infected or infested plants in there. I’m mainly talking about garden wastes. Some diseases or harmful insects will live in the compost pile so why re-infect or re-infest your garden.
Many people say to not put meat products, oil or grease, or dairy products in the compost. These tend to draw vermin, especially mice and rats but also possums and raccoons. What gardener wants to feed and attract raccoons? Not this one. They also tend to draw flies. When I’ve started a new compost pile I have been known to put a dead chicken (or scraps left after butchering) or a dead rabbit at the very bottom, well buried so nothing can smell it and dig it up, like a fox, coyote, or dog. They will decompose but you will be left with a lot of bones.
Something else that will draw flies is if you let the chicken poop get too thick. That happens to me occasionally. I clean off my droppings board and put pure chicken poop on top of the compost pile. When it gets thick enough to draw flies I cover it with grass trimmings so the flies can’t find it. If the chickens can get to it, they’d just eat the maggots. Either way, problem solved.
That’s basically how I do it. There are plenty of other ways. Just choose a way and try it. As you know compost is black gold to a gardener.
I just read your last post so some of this won’t apply directly to you but maybe you can get some ideas out of it. I don’t know if your neighbors put out bags of grass trimmings to go to the landfill. If you harvest those you reduce the stuff going in the landfill.