Although, I've got to throw this out there.
If you want an easy animal to start out with, you want geese.
No, not exactly. They make two different kinds of pellets. The one they eat after their food goes through the first time is soft and green - like a goat's cud, not like poop. Their poo pellets are just poo and they do not re-eat them. I find it to be pretty equivalent to goat poo as far as the effect it has on my plants, no better, no worse.
rabbits are not efficient at deriving nourishment from what they eat; they often eat their own poo at least one time through for that reason. I think that rabbit poo is likely, for that reason, to contain a lot of broken down but unabsorbed nutrients that are superior plant food.
Probably not, apparently most strains of wild (American) rabbit are not closely related enough to domestic (developed from European) rabbits to crossbreed. Though don't quote me on that, it's from reading on the 'net, not personal observation. Interestingly, My father insists that the wild buns in our brush are descended from some that a neighbor released that went feral.
I wonder if it were possibly to legally raise a couple of wild rabbits and then breed them with a larger, domesticated rabbit? Still, that does not give one the thrill of the hunt.
Easy enough. I keep my buns in my garden, makes it easy to give them cuttings and I don't have to haul their poo. A couple does and a buck can produce all a person would care to eat in a year, plus some for the dog. You do have to get outside input for your gene pool now and again, but there are lots of bun raisers out there, it's not so hard to find someone to swap with. If you want to pasture them, there's more work involved in setting up, you either have to invest in a way to keep them in an area or keep them out of your garden (assuming you have one), but then they pretty much feed and raise themselves. Personally I wouldn't bother with wild ones at all unless you're worried about introducing an invasive species. Just get a non-white color and the domestic buns will probably adapt fine to being outside. They haven't completely had survivability bred out of them, but they grow much bigger and faster then the wild buns.
How much work is it to raise rabbits? I have never raised them for meat so cannot speak from first hand experience. I know of people who do raise them.
Yes. Western Oregon has a very wet season and a very dry season and there aren't many plants that can handle saturated soils and standing water in the winter, then go to bone dry in the summer that aren't native to our climate. So the parts that are so far from the house that I know they won't get attention, mostly have natives. However, many of the native plants just don't taste that great and I like diversity, so I squeeze in lots of non-natives in the areas that have good drainage and are close enough to keep an eye on.
I was wondering are there people trying to do their food forest with mainly native plants? or are they using adapted exotics.
Well, yes and no. It works for trees, but all the little undergrowth can't compete with the berries until they get shaded out at which point, it's too dark for the others as well. I'd keep an eye on them, don't let them get a foothold. If you keep the noxious weeds from taking over, a lot of stuff should fill in on it's own. Also, if you wait and give some thought to what you do want growing, around February you can pick up a bunch of native plants and/or trees super cheap at the seedling sales. Not that I'm saying that all you should plant is natives, but they're certainly low maintenance and a good place to start.
Blackberries make a good nursery for those regenerating plants
Seems like. From personal experience, I've seen my father's horses and cows take the occasional nibble (cleaned the suckers right out of their field) and they're still perfectly healthy, but they're in a large pasture with plenty to eat, so they're not likely to overindulge in anything. I feel pretty confident letting my goats eat them given that goats seem to have a higher tolerance for toxins than many other animals. I do wonder if there are other factors - soil/weather/etc conditions that contribute to toxicity. My father swears they don't make good fence posts either, that they just rot. I haven't tried that yet, my trees are babies, but maybe the toxins just aren't as concentrated in the trees here or something. I have to admit, the conflicting info all over the web and the not-knowing are one of the reasons I planted some. Curiosity gets me every time.