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is it possible to use the RichFaces calendar widget inside my custom JSF component in order to fill one of the input fields if the user selects a day in the calendar
Yes, you can create RF calendar widget programmatically and attach it to your component.
Another widely-used option is creation of Facelets tag that integrates several existing components (see Facelets manual for more). Note: these tags have some limitations that common components don't have.
is it better to take the RichFaces calendar component and somehow modify it to meet my requirements
I think that is really dependent on how well the first variant (i.e. integration of unchanged widget) will satisfy your requirements. Sure you can take sources and modify them as you need, however consider maintenance effort for your customized version of the widget(s) and various cases like migration to a new RF version.
Thank you, Nick!
I'll start with the programmatically creation of the calendar. This seems to be the best option for me.
Works perfectly for me - exactly what I was looking for. Thanks again!