Can someone explain what the "это" is adding here? How is this different from "Утка не курица"?
It's absolutely fine without это. Except it would be Утка — не курица, with an em dash. I think there is no difference, except I would rather not use это in formal situations. Still, it's pretty fine if you use it.
I believe that "это" is common in normal speech for "definition-like" sentences.
So "a duck is a hen", (for "any duck in general, no matter which"), works fine with that "это" there. But if it was "the duck" (or even "a duck" but referring to one specific duck in particular and not the abstract "any duck"), talking about a specific duck mentioned before for example, I believe putting это there would be less common.
This was my first guess also (although I used "chicken"). Because of the dash, i thought that 'это не курица' is the main clause, 'утка' is subordinate. Hence: "it's not a chicken, but a duck (instead)". Also, every time I have seen 'это' used before this, it has always expressed "this", "here" or "it" in some way. Either as in "this thing is something" or "it is something" etc.
Is "It is a duck, not a chicken" wrong?
If this sentence were talking about the meat it could be: "duck is not chicken"?
How many times do i have to repeat myself dass eine Ente ist kein Huhn!!!
now see you led me astray duolingo... earlier you showed a picture of a rooster and a hen and i thought kuritza meant rooster... the rooster seemed to be dominant in that picture
I just thought it generally meant chicken not a specific gender of a chicken.
Isn't курица chicken? It said I was wrong for the answer. And I am a chicken farmer!