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Typically, when using the Ready action to cast a spell, the following rule applies (emphasis mine):

When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy, which you release with your reaction when the trigger occurs. To be readied, a spell must have a casting time of 1 action, and holding onto the spell's magic requires concentration.

Now, suppose I have a Wand of Polymorph. On my turn, I take the following course of action:

I take the Ready action to use the Wand of Polymorph on the Roc if it flies within 15 feet of me.

If I were just using the wand on my turn to cast polymorph, I would have to concentrate as usual, since the rules for Activating an Item state:

Some magic items allow the user to cast a spell from the item. The spell is cast at the lowest possible spell and caster level, doesn't expend any of the user's spell slots, and requires no components, unless the item's description says otherwise. The spell uses its normal casting time, range, and duration, and the user of the item must concentrate if the spell requires concentration.

Since the action I am readying is not the Cast a Spell action, it is the "activate the Wand of Polymorph" action, do I have to concentrate to "hold its energy" until I release the spell on the Roc?

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No, you do not have to maintain concentration when readying the use of a magic item to cast a spell.

The Ready action states (emphasis mine):

When you ready a spell, you cast it as normal but hold its energy, which you release with your reaction when the trigger occurs. To be readied, a spell must have a casting time of 1 action, and holding onto the spell's magic requires concentration.

This rule applies when you specifically ready a spell, not cast a spell. You might be using the magic item to cast a spell but you are readying the use of the magic item, not readying a spell. As such the above rule does not apply.

This is a rather loose explanation and has already lead to a question in the comments, so I will include a more formal one:

To ready a spell means you are taking the Ready action, then choosing to ready the Cast a Spell action. Per the rules of the Ready action, the Casting Time of the spell has to be one action. This Casting Time is just that, a casting time, it is not its own action separate from the Cast a Spell action. This is why every magic item which allows the casting of a spell always includes something like "you can use an action to..." which is a special action you can take granted by the magic item, distinct from the Cast a Spell action. You are readying the use of this special action from the magic item, because spells themselves do not have their own individual actions. And since this special action is not the Cast a Spell action, the rules from the Ready action pertaining to readying spells do not apply here.

Although Jeremy Crawford's tweet are not considered official rulings, he has answered this question here.

@JeremyECrawford Is readying action to use a magic item the same as readying action to cast spell (charge or use/day is used regardless)

Using a magic item with Ready does not follow the spell rule in Ready. #DnD

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    \$\begingroup\$ How does this work given that the actual spell cast via the wand has a casting time of 1 action and you are trying to use that as 1 reaction? Are you not actually readying the 'cast a spell via this wand' action as opposed to 'use magic item'? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jan 11 at 17:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is no general 'use magic item' action. Magic items grant specific actions in their own description, even when the spell itself already specifies its casting time as an action. For example the wand of polymorph states "you can use an action to expend 1 of its charges to cast the polymorph spell". The Polymorph spell has a casting time of one action but the action you are readying is from the magic item, not the spell. As such you are not readying a spell, or more formally you are not readying the "Cast a Spell" action. You are readying whatever action is granted by the magic item. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pepijn
    Jan 11 at 18:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Pepijn For what it's worth, the Essentials Kit actually lists this as its own action: "If you have a magic item that requies an action to use, you take the Use a Magic Item action" \$\endgroup\$ Jan 12 at 16:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Exempt-Medic Very interesting, thanks for pointing that out! I don't think it changes my answer in the end but it's interesting that it only appears there and nowhere else (afaik). Perhaps it is meant as a simplification. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pepijn
    Jan 12 at 17:07

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