This is a great post. I think if I had to think about it too much though, I'd probably not do it, so I'm glad that it seems it will happens sooner or later, even if it ends up being later
I bought one of those 115 gallon plastic compost bins at one of the home improvement stores. Every morning it gets what chicken poop and hay stuck to it that I remove from our little chicken coop. I've stopped getting plastic bags from the grocery store and now get paper bags, which I have the kids tear into little pieces and put into the bin. We also add weeds that have been pulled, TP rolls, and kitchen scraps (no meat). I go out and water it every 3 or 4 days, and have only turned it once in the few weeks we've had it. I really don't know how well it's working, but I guess we'll see.
The plan is to have usable compost after growing season to till into my garden, and then another batch to till into the garden in early spring, before planting. We are very clay heavy here, so hopefully I'll see some improvement in the garden, though at least the maters are doing very well this year, having added only a couple bags of manure before planting.
All of this....gardening, composting, keeping backyard chickens is literally new to me this year, so I'm learning lots. We'll see how it all works out
To the OP...even if some of us don't follow your post to the letter, it's awesome information, and shows us what direction to move things when we are ready to improve our own system (or lack thereof). So thanks!