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I have created a new site "Y" which i hope to put the 50 pages on.
I have linked from site "X" to "Y" to get it spidered, it has been today.
How long should I wait to put the 50 pages on site "Y". Today, a week, a month, never?
By using the 301 redirect you will not only direct the spiders to the new location of your content more quickly, but also try to retain some of your legacy "SEO attribute" such as duration in the index, links, etc.
Please note though, that even if you did the 301 correctly, the full strength of your links won't transfer to the new pages, so you might want to contact the websites that link to you to update the links.