Our composting has been pretty low-tech to date. Llamas naturally create dropping places where they visit over and over to leave their “beans”. The rabbits are in raised cages so their droppings also fall to the ground below. And we’ve built a large bin from reclaimed wood from the old barn, just an open box on the ground about 12” tall into which anything able to be composted is thrown. The first year, there was much more material for the compost pile, but with the variety of livestock now living on the farm, there is someone to eat almost every kind of kitchen scrap. The only thing universally refused is onion. Even banana peels are a big hit with the goats, and they will eat most of the garden leftovers as well. So the only thing to go into the compost bin aside from yard litter (which is also used for other things, for the most part, so there is very little of that!) are onions, used tea leaves, and the extra eggshells which are not fed back to the chickens. As a result, the compost pile has grown very, very slowly.
The chickens do all the work as well, scratching and turning over the compost every day. As a result, I should have another inch or more of compost (mostly from the rabbits and llama) to add to the garden soon. (Rabbit and llama manure are both cold manures and don’t HAVE to be composted, but I usually allow them to compost.)
I’m actually looking forward to cleaning out the chicken coop. That is where last years’ dried leaves went (the ones that weren’t eaten by the goats … they are like Hoovers sucking up leaves from the ground!). The leaves in the coop have been well crushed and scratched and turned over and mixed with chicken manure, so time to move them to the bin and add the fresh leaves soon.
I think I may make things a bit more high tech next year, adding worm beds to the rabbit setup. Worm castings would help provide even more benefits to the garden soil, and worm sales are another potential source of income. I’ll keep my readers updated with that project when it happens!